Mercer Islanders senior quarterback Nikhil Nayar hasn’t spent his summer vacationing and lounging in the glare of the summer sunshine.
Nayer, who has been lifting weights and working out since spring football practice sessions in early June, is determined to lead his team as far as he can in his final season of high school football. The Islanders, who lost to the Bonney Lake Panthers 56-42 in a winner-to-state, loser-out playoff game last November, are pushing themselves to the max in the summer.
“It is super exciting. We have been in the weight room all summer and our guys have been out here just grinding,” Nayar said.
Nayar said he’s partaken in multiple football camps over the summer and has aspirations of playing Division 1 football in the future. The 6-foot, 4-inch senior signal caller wants to see his team return to the playoffs in 2017.
“We got to make the playoffs. Last year it was the first time we made the playoffs since 2012. I’m looking forward to the game against West Valley (season opener in Yakima) and obviously Bellevue. That is always a fun game to play,” Nayar said.
Nayar relishes being one of the tallest players in the KingCo 3A Conference.
“It helps so much. It is more of a intimidation factor for other teams because I don’t think any other schools in KingCo have a quarterback as big as me. I’m one of the biggest people on the field,” he said.
The Islanders starting quarterback said he didn’t play football until the ninth grade in the fall of 2014 but it hasn’t stopped him from learning the game at a rapid pace over the past three years.
“I would say my mind is my best strength. I can read coverages pretty well and I have been able to quickly learn the game,” he said.
Recently, the Mercer Island Reporter had an opportunity to ask Nayar a few questions about his life away from the football field.
Mercer Island Reporter: What is your favorite movie of all time?
Nikhil Nayar: “Step Brothers.” It is a movie my friends and I just continue to watch. Will Ferrell is just so funny. He is a great actor.
MIR: What is your favorite restaurant in Mercer Island?
NN: Bennett’s. First off I know the Dammeier family (Owner of Bennett’s). They are family friends. Their food is just top notch and top quality.
MIR: What is your favorite dinner dish?
NN: I have always liked Mexican food and enchiladas is my go to.
MIR: Who is your pick to win the World Series this fall?
NN: The Houston Astros. Besides the Dodgers they are the best team in baseball right now.
MIR: Where do you see yourself five years from now?
NN: My dream is to play in the NFL (National Football League) but I have to think of other things as well. Hopefully I will major in engineering or business (in college). Hopefully I can get a job at a great company.
MIR: Who was your idol growing up?
NN: Ben Malcolmson. He is Pete Carroll’s (Seattle Seahawks head coach) assistant. He is our Young life leader.
MIR: What would you do if you had a million dollars?
NN: I would invest most of it but I would buy a new car. I would get a BMW M3.