Originally from Wichita Falls, TX, David Nelson decided to play football for the Florida Gators upon graduating high school in 2005. Because Nelson spent his college career over 1,000 miles away from home, Nelson says he took advantage of his time off during the NFL lockout and spent quality time with his six other siblings.
"I spent a lot of time with my family in Dallas. When I was in college I didn't have much time to go home. So with this unique opportunity I took advantage of it and spent a lot of time hanging out with my little brothers and sisters. I also traveled a lot and visited a lot of places I've always wanted to go," Nelson said.
Nelson saw action in 15 games during the 2010 season and started three of them. During his rookie season, Nelson had 31 receptions for 352 yards and three touchdowns. While he didn't register as many starts as he would have liked in 2010, Nelson says he is looking forward to his second season with the Bills and is excited for what the 2011 season will bring.
"My first overall impression of the NFL was the size of all the players. During my first couple of preseason games I was amazed at how big most of the players were and how fast they could move. As the season went on, I started to appreciate the guys who play 7-10 years in this league because it really takes a toll on your body," Nelson said.
As far as matching up to the talent in the NFL, Nelson says he is working hard to get better each and every day. While he doesn't deny a significant difference between college and professional football, Nelson says he is adjusting well.
"I try to use what I do well and use that to my advantage. My height is something that's to my advantage so I use that as well. I understand the game and I try to use that to break down defenses and find an open hole," Nelson said.
Nelson's first off-season was uncommon for the NFL but with the lockout finally coming to a close, Nelson says everything has picked up quicker than he expected.
"During the lockout, I worked out with a bunch of different guys from around the league. It was hard to really get a grip on when the lockout would be over, so it was hard to plan our training accordingly. Now that the lockout is over everything has been moving so fast and it's been crazy," Nelson said. "I was just trying to stay in shape every way I could. I have put on about 15 pounds, so I had to allow my body to get used to running around with this extra weight," Nelson added.
The NFL lockout affected most players and franchises within the league. Nelson says the Buffalo Bills definitely felt the effects of the time spent apart from their coaching staff this off-season.
"In our case, being a young team, I think it affected us because we weren't able to be around our coaches and get the coaching we need. Film study and evaluations are critical in this league, and we were denied of that this offseason," Nelson said.
While Nelson had a solid rookie season for the Buffalo Bills, Nelson says he has been working extremely hard and is looking forward to topping his performance last year.
"My goals are really to just improve on what I did last year. I'd like to become an every down WR and add different tools to my game to make me a well-rounded receiver," Nelson said. "I love the competition in the NFL and to be able to say I'm playing against the best players in the world is great," Nelson added.
Playing in the NFL has always been a dream for Nelson and while he is enjoying every moment, he says he misses game days in the Swamp.
"I miss the fans and the environment the most about college football. Every stadium is rocking on Saturday's and you can feel the passion. Guys had one purpose and were playing because they love the game," Nelson said.
While Nelson has only spent a few minutes with Florida's new head coach, Will Muschamp, he could immediately tell the Florida Football Program was in good hands.
"I was able to talk with Coach Muschamp for a few minutes during pro day this year. He seems like a very intense, passionate coach," Nelson said. "I've talked to a couple of my teammates up here in Buffalo who have played for him and they have nothing but great things to say about him. They say he makes players want to play hard for him, because they care so much about him and don't want to let him down. That's an amazing quality to have as a head coach," Nelson added.
While Nelson is looking forward to continuing his professional career, he can't help but be excited for the start of college football season and the new-year for the Florida Gators. While many changes surround the Florida Football Program, Nelson has high hopes for the Florida offense this season.
"I think Charlie Weis' track record as an offensive coordinator speaks for itself. I'm very excited to see what he does with John Brantley and the rest of the boys," Nelson said.