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Linebacker Hardy Nickerson transferring from California to Illinois

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Nickerson will be immediately eligible.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Fighting Illini football defense just secured a huge addition. Via Twitter, former California middle linebacker Hardy Nickerson announced his intent to transfer to Illinois in order to play for his father, Hardy Nickerson Sr., who's the new Defensive Coordinator in Champaign. The 6-foot, 230-pound senior will be immediately eligible to play in 2016.

During his four seasons at Berkeley, Nickerson appeared in 34 games and totaled 246 tackles. You can click here to view his season totals, and his 2015 game log can also be found right here.

This is a huge addition for the Illini, who are looking to replace two starting linebackers in Mason Monheim (graduation) and T.J. Neal (transfer). The news only just broke, but it's already hard envisioning a scenario in which Nickerson isn't No. 1 on the depth chart heading into Week 1.

You can view Nickerson's announcement in the below tweet.