More than Meats the Eye: the Rick Nassieur Story

by Conner Anderson

Every now and then, a momentous figure sets his (or her, maybe) foot down on the University of the South’s historic campus. Amid an atmosphere of ephemeral personalities and achievements soon to be forgotten, a select few leave footprints impossible to ever fill. Lucky for current University staff, students, and athletic aficionados such a figure does exist. His name: Rick Nassieur.

Growing up in St. Louis, Missouri, Nassieur firmly imprinted his mark on local pee-wee football fields. With a self proclaimed passion for “concussions and competition,” young Nick, Rick, or whatever you prefer, sidelined roughly half of Mizzou’s youth, boosting the income of local doctors and placing neurologists in Hollywood sized homes (Rassieur ’15). His youth coach, who prefers to remain anonymous for reasons of publicity, stated, “Little Rick was a chip off the old block. We put him at quarterback, running back, receiver, middle linebacker, and safety. Hell, if he could’ve coached the team and played at the same time, we would’ve let him. But, first and foremost, that kid knew how to lay the wood.” And lay the wood he did: straight to a starting spot at John Borrough’s High School.

It was during high school, that initial formative stage of every young man’s life, that Nick started to become a little more like Rick, his infamous alter ego. According to several sources, once the letterman jacket hit his well defined shoulders, all hell broke loose. More specifically, neither the field, the hallway, the classroom, nor the occasional unsupervised party were free from the physicality and personality that continuously sought not only to seek, but also to destroy all competition. With his high school experience behind, something Rick didn’t want to delve into for “personal reasons,” the University of the South became Nassieur’s new playing field.

Rick hit the Sewanee playing field with the type of energy and enthusiasm that had the community reminiscing about the legendary 1898 season. Both coaches and players immediately recognized a talent uncontainable to merely punt team — a place where he thrived at running past blockers and giving obscure hand signals — but also kickoff, kickoff return, and punt return teams. Though Nick was not voted all conference his freshman or sophomore years, undoubtedly due to some conspiracy by envious rival squad coaches, his junior year promises some congratulatory requital for his unending efforts.

As I began to ask Rick about hopes, both personal and collective, for the upcoming season, he quickly interjected, “I’m gonna be the numba (sic) one stunna (sic) and a winning season is in sight . . . maybe.” With a response as quick and eloquent as his, who can deny the success the Sewanee football seems guaranteed to achieve this special year.

Nassieur, who looks up to “Dave McKeithen and Cohen Howard, as well as Zach Thomas who’s also pretty chill,” enjoys campus life as much as the field. Describing his membership in fraternal life, Nassieur said, “My brothers are my life but I find a way to keep it chill with The Order.” When pressed about his weekend escapades, something Nick desires to keep relatively low key, he finally relented, “Man nothing gets me amped like House music and some Perrier. Besides that, if you want to find me at 12 am on Saturday night look to Gamma. Go late or go home.”

Unfortunately, after this heated pronouncement, Rick refused to answer any more questions. However, even with this amount of information — both past and present — it’s safe to assume that Sewanee football’s well equipped for a year of unprecedented success. Look out for Nassieur on special teams, as well as outside linebacker. Get ready for a good year on the gridiron.

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