Hakeem Nicks
AP Photo

Hakeem Nicks, a former first-round pick and Super Bowl champion for the New York Giants, will make his case for the rebooted XFL on Friday.

Geoff Magliocchetti

On Friday afternoon, Hakeem Nicks will play football on a New Jersey field for the first time since 2015. The former first-round pick of the New York Giants will begin a potential return to professional football at the XFL NY Summer Showcase.

Approximately 100 athletes are expected to partake in the event at Sprague Field on the campus of Montclair State University. The showcase has been compared to the NFL combine. Participants will go through drills such as a 40-yard dash, three-cone drill, and the broad jump, as well as individual position drills. XFL commissioner Oliver Luck will be in attendance alongside Kevin Gilbride, the head coach of New York’s new franchise.

Nicks, 31, was the 29th overall pick of the 2009 draft. He would play six seasons with the Giants in two separate stints. His most prolific years were headlined by a pair of back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons. After earning 1,052 yards and 11 touchdowns in 2010, Nicks played a big role in the Giants’ improbable run to Super Bowl 46 glory. He tallied a career-high 1,192 yards in the regular season before adding 444 yards and four touchdowns in the playoffs.

Notably, he had 165 yards and two touchdowns in the divisional round victory over Green Bay. He was the recipient of one of Eli Manning‘s most famous throws, a 37-yard desperation heave that he caught in the end zone at the end of the half. The score permanently shifted momentum to the Giants’ side in what became a 37-20 victory. He would later earn a game-high 109 yards on 10 receptions in the championship victory over the New England Patriots.

Nicks signed with the Indianapolis Colts in 2014 before returning to the Giants a year later. He partook in training camp with New Orleans in 2016 but did not make the regular season roster.

At 4,676 yards, Nicks ranks ninth in Giants history. The North Carolina alum hinted at an NFL comeback earlier this offseason.

Should Nicks join the new XFL squad, he would be reunited with Gilbride, his former offensive coordinator. Gilbride returns to coaching for the first time since leaving the spot in 2013. Previous head coaching experience includes 22 games with the San Diego Chargers in 1997 and 1998.

The resurrected XFL is expected to begin play in February. Local showcases in each of the eight host cities began earlier this month. Dallas and Houston were the first to stage theirs, while Washington D.C. will have their place on Saturday. Notable participants in the Texas showcases include NFL alumni and college stars Christine Michael, Landry Jones, and Will Hill.

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