Nelson Talks Rutgers Commitment
Jul 18, 2011
By: Todderick Hunt- SOR Editor
Rutgers Commit Derrick Nelson (blocker)
With Rutgers being thin along the interior offensive line, they struck gold on Monday when Rutgers head coach Greg Schiano received a call from Archbishop Carroll's (D.C.) Derrick Nelson stating he was ready to commit to the Scarlet Knights.
“I just felt it was the place for me,” Nelson told StateOfRutgers.com. “It was the perfect fit. They are top notch with the APR and graduation rate. Also, the change in the offense is really offensive lineman friendly and I like the family atmosphere that they have.”
The 6-foot-4, 285-pound offensive guard began his day by running his decision past his current head coach and following up that interaction with calls to a couple Rutgers coaches.
“First I told my head coach at my high school and he told me ‘ok’, and that it was a good decision because Rutgers is a great program,” he said. “Then I called Coach Schiano, that went great. We talked about what I can do there and the type of class they have so far and that’s how I feel too. It’s a great school and a perfect fit.”
Coach Schiano shared with Nelson what he feels he does best as a lineman and where he will likely fit within the Rutgers program.
“Coach told me he likes my athleticism and my quick pop and how I’m up in the pads as soon as I get out of my stance,” said Nelson. “I was told I’m a great run blocker, I’m very athletic and can maneuver well in pulling positions. ”
Nelson also reached out to Rutgers assistant P.J. Fleck who shared in his excitement.
"If you know Coach Fleck then you know how he sounded," he mentioned. "He is a high-energy guy. He was very excited."
He then attempted to reach out to Rutgers Offensive Line Coach Kyle Flood as well but he is on vacation.
Although it all worked out in the end between Nelson and Rutgers, there was a time where the outcome was not certain.
“I went down to see Rutgers three times,” he said, “ and on the third time they wanted me to commit but I didn’t because I didn’t want to commit on emotions. So now it’s a month later and I feel that I’m ready so I did it.”
That being said, why was today the day?
“I just felt it was time,” he responded. “I feel that it was just the right time to commit. There was no pressure involved or anything like that.”
The recruitment for Nelson’s services came down to a two horse race between Rutgers and Georgia Tech.
“I called Al Groh (one of the Georgia Tech assistants) and told him I committed to Rutgers,” he said. “It came down to Georgia Tech and Rutgers because Tech was contacting me through email since my 10th grade year. That is the school I was supposed to go to but things changed as time went on.”
Nevertheless, Nelson had a positive message for Rutgers fans.
“I’m planning to do big things with Rutgers and my class. During my time here, I hope to win more than one national championship.”