RECRUITING: The latest from Reggie Nelson

The Melbourne Palm Bay (HS) standout was perhaps the best player in the state of Florida when he graduated in 2003. He was part of the Florida Gators class that ranked 2nd on TheInsiders recruiting network. Some think that Nelson may have been the best player in the entire class. Unfortunately for Nelson, he had to take his services to Dodge City for a year and half as he sped through school.

Nelson and his Coffeeville teammates are doing well and are off to a 4-1 start. He has one interception on the year. As to where he sees the most action on the field, he said, "I'm playing safety, that's it." Was he able to showcase his return skills on his lone interception? "No, I had to jump for it and he tackled me."

Nelson has found a newfound talent that his coaches like. On special teams in high school he commanded attention and respect as a kick returner. At Coffeyville, the coaches have decided to use his burst off the line somewhere else. "I'm the block dude, that's it. I have four blocked field goals and one blocked punt." Not bad for a four game season so far. "I added a forced fumble this weekend," added Nelson.

With his commitment in 2003, we wanted to know if he has been able to catch the Gators on television this year. "No, I play on Saturday so I haven't had a chance to watch them. I will when we get a bye week." Does he keep up with his former teammate at Palm Bay Joe Cohen? "Yes I talk to Joe. He is doing good."

With rumor mongerers still implying that Reggie was going to take a serious look at the Seminoles in Tallahassee, we asked him if there was any truth to it and whether he was still going to honor his commitment to be a Gator. "Yes I am still going to be that Gator." Naturally, it's certain to be great news for Florida fans, but also bad news for the Seminoles who held out false hopes.

Nelson's plan all along was for him to hit school at the JUCO level and bring his academics up to par so he could graduate early and head straight to the University of Florida. The coaches at Coffeyville Community College agreed to redshirt him for the first year and allow him to only play one season so he would have three years of eligibility at Florida. It's an unusual situation, but the coaches at Coffeeville felt Reggie was talented enough to warrant this.

Reggie tells us he's still on track so far, "I am coming. I am on track to graduate in December and everything is looking good, so I will be there in January." He wants to be able to join the team in time for spring practice, as eager as he is to get into the thick of things.

That's even better news for the Florida Gators who are looking for a big-time playmaker with game breaking ability. Reggie will very likely be able to contribute immediately to the secondary as well as on special teams with his propensity for blocking kicks. We wouldn't be surprised to also see him return kickoffs if you remember how spectacular he was at that in high school.

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