Nick Tiano ’15, a former quarterback for the Baylor football team, has signed a contract with the National Football League’s Houston Texans.
Tiano’s entrance into the NFL was anything but relaxing. Called the most underrated prospect in the 2020 NFL draft by nfldraftdiamonds.com, Tiano saw 10 quarterbacks picked in three days of the draft this past weekend and saw 10 more sign as free agents.
“It's been a long 48 hours," Tiano told the Chattanooga Times Free Press about the chaos. "Right at the start of the sixth round, about five or six teams started calling, and we were thinking we were going to get picked. Everything was looking really good. My agent and I had decided that if we had not been picked by pick 240 (out of 255), then we would agree to terms with one of these teams as a free agent. We agreed with a team as the draft ended, and we were good, but then about 10 minutes later, we got a call from that team telling us they had done their numbers wrong and that they weren't going to have room. I was crushed. We called back to the other teams that had offered us deals, and they had already agreed to terms with the next quarterback on their list." The Texans revisited their assessment and called back to offer the contract.
After leading the Red Raiders to the state semifinals in 2014, Tiano signed with Mississippi State and later transferred to UTC. He passed for approximately 5,000 yards and 29 touchdowns over the past two seasons and rushed for more than 400 yards and nine TDs in 2019 for the Mocs. Tiano was named the Southern Conference’s Player of the Month last November and was the Most Valuable Player of the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl played Jan. 18 in the Rose Bowl. He has since been training at the Landow Performance Group in Denver.
The Texans compete in the NFL’s American Football Conference (AFC) South division. The team plays its home games at NRG Stadium. The Texans have won six division championships since beginning as an expansion team in 2002, taking the title in 2011, 2012, 2015, 2016, 2018, and 2019. They have yet to appear in a conference championship game.