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Hardy Nickerson joins Bengals as UDFA

The Bengals add to their linebacker depth with the former Illinois and Cal product.

Mike Granse-USA TODAY Sports

The Cincinnati Bengals have agreed to an undrafted free agent deal with linebacker Hardy Nickerson, according to Illini HQ's Bob Asmussen. It was originally reported that Nickerson was heading to the L.A. Rams, but it looks like Cincinnati won out for his services.

Nickerson has the rare honor of being an all-conference performer in two different Power 5 leagues. He began his career at Cal, where he was an All-Pac 12 performer in 2015 after recording 111 tackles.

The 6-foot, 232-point Nickerson would spend a postgraduate season at Illinois, where his father, Hardy Nickerson Sr. was named defensive coordinator in 2016. The younger Nickerson recorded 107 tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss two sacks and two interceptions, earning him All-Big Ten honors.The elder Nickerson was a four-time All-Pro and member of the NFL’s All-1990s team while playing for the Pittsburgh Steelers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

CBS Sports has Nickerson ranked No. 251 overall in this drafted, good enough for a Round 7 projection. He didn't hear his name called during the draft, but he'll get a shot to have an NFL career with the Bengals.

Be sure to read SB Nation's profile of Nickerson.