Nixon says Viera High’s decision to retire his No. 1 jersey ‘means the world to me’

Former Viera High football star Tre Nixon, who became the first Hawk to be drafted into the NFL earlier this month, will have his No. 1 jersey retired by the program. Nixon, who went on to play at UCF, was selected by the New England Patriots in the seventh round.

Tre Nixon’s legacy at Viera High School continues to grow.

The former Hawk and UCF wide receiver became the first player from Viera to be drafted into the NFL when the New England Patriots took him in the seventh round on May 4.

And on what will no doubt be a special night sometime this fall, the Hawks will retire Nixon’s No. 1 jersey. It will be first time a Viera player has ever had their jersey retired.

“It means the world to me,” Nixon said. “Viera … this is who made me. The memories I’ve had at Viera High School, I’ll never forget. To have my number retired is one of the biggest honors you can have in high school.

“I feel like it’s a blessing. I hope the kids, for generations to come, will look at my jersey and say, ‘I want to do the same thing he did.’”

The date of the retirement ceremony will be determined by Nixon’s availability.

While the Hawks will be honoring their past by retiring the No. 1, they will also be honoring their present in a rather unique way.

“We’re retiring the No. 1 with the exception of one game a year,” Viera coach Derek Smith said. “Every homecoming, somebody on the football team will wear No. 1. But the person that wears No. 1 will be someone that represents all the ideas that Tre represented – high educational values, high values when it comes to morality and somebody that works hard.

“It doesn’t necessarily mean the best player. The hardest (working) player on and off the field will wear No. 1 for the homecoming game.”

Viera coaches will nominate the players, but it will be Nixon who determines who will get to wear his old Viera High jersey number for a night.

During his time at Viera, Nixon was part of a class that transformed the Hawks from a program that was one of Brevard County’s worst, to one of its best.

Viera went 1-8 when Nixon was a freshman. By the time he and the rest of the senior class left, the Hawks had won two district championships and went to the 2015 Class 7A state championship game.

Nixon caught 74 passes for 1,224 yards and 18 touchdowns and was named the Florida Dairy Farmers Class 7A Player of the Year as a senior. He was also named first-team All-State by the Associated Press and USA Today.

He would go on to play one season at Ole Miss before transferring to UCF in 2018, finishing his college career with 108 receptions for 1,671 yards and 13 touchdowns.

While being the first Viera player to be drafted into the NFL could be reason enough to retire a player’s jersey, Smith said there were a number of factors that went into the decision.

“More importantly, he represented the values and ideas of what Viera is about,” Smith said. “His values and ideas and how he represented himself when it came to work ethic transformed into him getting drafted.”