One reason for that is his play on the field — Niklas has two touchdown receptions in the team’s first two games and currently averages 71 yards per game.
Another reason is the 6-foot-7, 270-pound converted linebacker’s larger-than-life personality. Niklas, who is nicknamed “Hercules,” has gained a reputation as one of the team’s strongest players and gave a memorable, shirtless speech at the pep rally before last season’s Michigan game (skip to 7:03 for footage).
This week, Andrew Gastelum of Notre Dame’s student newspaper, The Observer, did a humorous interview with Niklas, where he was asked about a number of subjects, ranging from his bench press max (450!!!) to his workout habits to why exactly he takes his shirt off when he gets hyped. Why? Why not ask the biggest man on campus for workout type?
Here’s the video via YouTube:
As you can see, Niklas wasn’t exactly ready for the rapid-fire questioning. But the interview gave some interesting insights into the big man who looks primed to become Notre Dame’s next breakout tight end.