|No. 49 – Hamilton Tiger-Cats|
|Position:||Defensive tackle / Running back|
|Born:||May 16, 1991|
|Height:||5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)|
|Weight:||250 lb (113 kg)|
|High school:||Wylie (TX)|
|* Offseason and/or practice squad member only|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NFL statistics|
|Player stats at CFL.ca|
Nikita Nehemiah Whitlock (born May 16, 1991) is an American football defensive tackle for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the Canadian Football League (CFL). He was signed by the Cincinnati Bengals as an undrafted free agent in 2014. He played college football at Wake Forest. Whitlock has also been a member of the Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants.
Whitlock had a standout high school career at Wylie High School, earning AP Defensive Player of the Year honors in 2008. After playing defensive tackle and linebacker throughout high school and college, the undersized Whitlock switched to fullback in the NFL. He won the starting fullback job for the Giants in 2015 after strong special teams work in the pre-season.
After 2 seasons with the Giants, Whitlock joined the Canadian Football League, playing for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.
Whitlock is the son of Raymond and Genny Whitlock. Whitlock was originally going to be named Sergio Nehemiah Whitlock, but his grandmother did not like the name. His father, who worked for Yellow Pages, opened up a phone book to a random page and put his finger down to select his name, ending up with Nikita. Whitlock graduated from Wake Forest with a Health and Exercise Science major.
On December 6, 2016, Whitlock's Moonachie, New Jersey home was subject to vandalism with racially charged graffiti. The perpetrator broke into his home, graffiti-ed several racial slurs and swastikas on his walls, and stole jewelry and electronics.
Whitlock is an ambassador for Up2Us Sports, a national non-profit organization dedicated to supporting underserved youth by providing them with coaches trained in positive youth development.
High school career
Whitlock attended and played football at Wylie High School. He was named the AP Texas Class 5A Defensive Player of the Year in 2008. The Dallas Morning News named him the All-Area Defensive Player of the Year. Whitlock's height made it difficult for him to get noticed by college recruiters. As a freshman, he was 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m), 175 pounds (79 kg). He grew to 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m), 240 pounds (110 kg) by his senior year. His high school coach, Bill Howard, said, "If he was 6-foot-3, he'd be the No. 1 defensive lineman in the country". Mesquite Horn coach Rodney Webb called Whitlock "the best defensive player he had seen at the high school level". Whitlock set the school bench press record at 405 pounds (184 kg) as a senior. Dallas Morning News sportswriter Matt Wixon called Whitlock "one of the most dominant high school linemen" he has ever seen.
|Whitlock at Wake Forest tackling a player during a November 2012 game|
As a redshirt freshman, he was named second-team freshman All-American by College Football News and Rivals.com. Phil Steele named him fourth team All-ACC in 2012, as well as second-team pre-season All-ACC in 2013. He earned second-team All-ACC defensive honors in 2011 and 2012. In 2013, he was on the Bednarik Award watchlist.
|Ht||Wt||40-yard dash||10-yd split||20-yd split||20-ss||3-cone||Vert jump||Broad||BP|
|5 ft 10 in
|4.82 s||1.69 s||2.81 s||4.34 s||6.91 s||33 in
|9 ft 0 in
|All values from his Pro Day|
|Nikita Whitlock catches a pass during warmups before a 2014 pre-season game with the Bengals|
On May 12, 2014, Whitlock was signed as an undrafted free agent with the Cincinnati Bengals. Upon signing with the Bengals, Whitlock was moved from defensive tackle to fullback. At 5'10", 250 pounds (110 kg), Whitlock was considered too small to play defensive tackle at the NFL level.
He was released by the Bengals on August 30, 2014.
After being released by the Bengals, the Dallas Cowboys signed Whitlock to their practice squad on September 1, 2014. He was then released on September 9. The Cowboys resigned Whitlock to the practice squad on September 16. He was then released again on November 3.
A week later, Whitlock worked out for the Baltimore Ravens but was not signed. While a free agent, Whitlock was suspended by the NFL for four games on November 21; the league did not announce why he was suspended.
New York Giants
On December 17, 2014, Whitlock was signed to the New York Giants practice squad. He worked as both a fullback and a linebacker during practice. On December 29, 2014, Whitlock signed a futures contract with the Giants.
In the 2015 NFL season, Whitlock defeated incumbent Henry Hynoski for the fullback spot after surviving final cuts. Whitlock won the roster spot by his special teams play, as well as being younger and less expensive than Hynoski. In the final preseason game, Whitlock took snaps at both fullback and defensive tackle. He performed dual duty again during the Giants game against the Washington Redskins on September 24, 2015. On December 23, 2015, Whitlock suffered a knee injury in the week 15 game against the Carolina Panthers, and was placed on season-ending injured reserve. He finished the season playing 132 offensive plays, 61 defensive plays, and 276 special teams plays.
After spending the entire 2016 season on injured reserve, Whitlock was not offered a contract by the Giants, making him a free agent.
On August 10, 2017, Whitlock was signed to the practice roster of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the Canadian Football League (CFL) as a defensive tackle. He was promoted to the active roster on August 16, 2017. Whitlock played in 11 games in 2017, making 15 tackles, 9 special teams tackles, and 3 sacks. In 2018, Whitlock playing time increased to 17 games, but his production remained similar with 18 tackles, as well as 3 sacks, 1 forced fumble, and 9 special teams tackles. Part of the plateau in defensive stats was due to a position change; during training camp in 2018, Whitlock was converted to running back in addition to defensive and special teams duties, becoming a rare player who took part in all 3 phases of the game. Despite some fumbling issues in a preseason game Whitlock remained a reserve running back alongside Mercer Timmis and Sean Thomas Erlington while starter Alex Green was out with injury and recent addition John White IV was learning the Ti-Cats playbook on the practice roster. In limited touches early in the season, Whitlock recorded 6 runs for 38 yards, and three catches for 10 yards. Due to his versatility, Whitlock was signed to a two year contract extension in February 2019.
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- Tom Rock (7 September 2015). "The naming of Nikita Whitlock was a real page-turner". Newsday. Archived from the original on 10 September 2015. Retrieved 13 September 2015.
- CBS News, December 8, 2016, Vandals scrawl hate graffiti at home of New York Giants player Archived 2016-12-20 at the Wayback Machine
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- Wilkinson takes all-state honors(subscription required) Archived 2016-02-25 at the Wayback Machine 31 January 2009. Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, Morris Communications
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- Fantasy not part of NY Giants WR Odell Beckham Jr.'s reality Archived 2015-08-22 at the Wayback Machine Samuel, Ebenezer. New York Daily News, 18 December 2014. Accessed 25 March 2016
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- Matt Wixon (10 September 2015). "Former Wylie star Nikita Whitlock, told he was too small to play major college football, is now a member of the New York Giants". dallasnews.com. Archived from the original on 12 September 2015. Retrieved 13 September 2015.
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- "Nikita Whitlock suspended 10 games for violating NFL's performance-enhancing drugs policy". Archived from the original on 2016-09-17.
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- "TIGER-CATS ADD DEFENSIVE TACKLE WHITLOCK TO PRACTICE ROSTER". ticats.ca. August 10, 2017. Archived from the original on August 22, 2017. Retrieved August 22, 2017.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
- "CFL TRANSACTIONS". cfl.ca. Archived from the original on August 22, 2017. Retrieved August 22, 2017.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
- "Johnny Manziel puts up numbers in limited action in CFL debut". 2 June 2018.
- "Ticats extend contracts of Whitlock, Vaughn". 1 February 2019.