The 2010 Robert Morris University Football season was a tough one to top for Nolan Nearhoof. throughout the year, Nearhoof, a defensive end, led the team in sacks (5.5) and quarterback hurries (6).
The Colonials may have felt Nearhoof’s defensive contributions the most when they took the Northeast Conference Championship for the first time in 10 years and became the first ever NEC team to play a Division I Football Championship Subdivision playoff game.
Being such a pivotal member of a unit that lead the conference in scoring defense, rushing defense, and total defense attracted some national attention. Nearhoof became the third player in the program's history to be named to the ESPN Academic All-American Second Team. He was also honored as a Capital One Academic All-American Second Team – an award he would repeat the following season.
The biology major maintains a 3.84 cumulative GPA and uses his passion for football to motivate himself academically. “You put in a little extra time each week to beat the other guys on the field,” Nearhoof says. “Staying on top of your classes is the same way.”
During his junior year, Nearhoof led the team in tackles for loss (12.5) and again in sacks (7.5). He sits atop RMU’s list of career tackles with 137.
Nearhoof's accomplishments go beyond both the playing field and the classroom, too. Recently he started working with about 10 other RMU student-athletes to organize visits to Children’s Hospital, to clean up local highways, and to think of other ways to assist the community.
While at RMU, Nearhoof has spent time decorating and delivering gifts to the Holy Family Institute in Emsworth for Christmas, as well as volunteering at the Special Olympics. He regularly works with the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee to stay involved in special events, activities and community service.