Nelson Checks Out Arkansas

Arkansas is getting attention from several players right in the Missouri Tigers' backyard, including Columbia battle defensive end Jerrion Nelson (6-2, 255), who checked out the Razorbacks last week,

Arkansas seems to have caught the attention of a few prospects from Columbia, Missouri – home of the Tigers.

The Razorbacks have already landed Columbia Rock Bridge fullback Hayden Johnson and recently hosted Battle senior defensive end Jerrion Nelson (6-2, 255) and junior wide receiver Jaevon McQuitty (6-2, 190).

Nelson (6-2, 255), who had 101 tackles, 32 tackles for lost yardage and 12 ½ sacks last season for a state championship team.

He and McQuitty got a chance to check out Arkansas last Thursday as the Razorbacks hosted their final summer camp.

"I like everything about Arkansas," Nelson said. "The coaches, facilities, great atmosphere, a great fan base and it felt like home to me."

Nelson has offers from Iowa, Iowa State, Purdue, Bowling Green, Toledo, Ball State and Missouri State.

“I am hoping that I get one from Arkansas,” Nelson said. “It would be close enough for my mom to come see me play and they have a great program.”

Nelson played linebacker as a sophomore before moving to defensive end as a junior for Battle, who has just had a program for two years.

He also would see some time as a Wildcat quarterback for head coach Justin Conyers, going 52 yards for a score on his first touch and rushing 31 times for 240 yards and nine touchdowns in 2014.

“First carry, 52-yard touchdown,” Conyers told the Columbia Tribune. “You can’t script that any better, if you’re a player or a coach. … It’s one of those things where we saw that, and we were like, ‘We’ve got to continue to do this.’ ”

But Nelson – whose nickname is J-Rock - has made his biggest mark as a defensive end that gets to the passer.

"My strengths are pass rushing and playing the run," Nelson said. "I am working on my speed and change of direction."

Conyers likes the way Nelson – who also had 6 catches for 93 yards and another score - has developed.

"He’s a veteran now,” Conyers said. “He’s a great pass rusher, but he’s really improved as a run stopper. When he’s left unblocked, he reads his keys, he knows where he’s supposed to go, he knows what his assignment is, and he’s not just trying to make plays for himself — he’s making plays for his team. That’s a huge thing for the defense.”

Battle (11-4) went just 5-4 in the regular season in 2014, but won six games to win the Class 5 State football championship, with Nash Sutherlin piling 2,132 yards rushing.

The Spartans took down Nixa 25-22 in the Show-Me Bowl state title game at the Edward D. Jones Stadium in St. Louis.

"Last year we won a state championship," Nelson said. "We lost our running back, some offensive linemen and some on defense, but we are still looking pretty good.”

Jerrion Nelson

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