RECRUITING: Nelson confirms UF visit Jan. 28th

SAN ANTONIO --- It was just a simple curl pattern, nothing all that special, and the ball really wasn't thrown all that well, but it gave David Nelson a chance to show why his recruiting stock has been rising almost on a daily basis. The 6-6, 198-pound wide receiver from Wichita Falls (TX) Rider was leaning to his right as he made his turn-in but the ball came in wide left, barely a foot off the ground.

Nelson reached back, snagged the ball that was going away from him cleanly and then in a single motion, spun away from three defenders.

That catch was typical of the kind of day Nelson had Monday as his West team began its preparations for the US Army All-American Bowl. By his count, he had eight or nine catches, one of which was a deep ball from Mark Sanchez, the Southern Cal quarterback commit.

"I felt pretty good today," said Nelson, a soft commit to Notre Dame who now has Florida, Iowa and UCLA on his list of four. "Obviously the offense took awhile to get going because it's our first day working together and it might take us two or three days to get into some kind of rhythm, but I think things went really well."

David Nelson has made two official visits, both prior to Christmas. He's been to Notre Dame and to Iowa already. In two weeks he will visit UCLA, which has emerged in the past couple of weeks. He re-confirmed that he will finish out his official visits January 28 when he visits Gainesville.

"After that, my dad (Roy) and I will go over the pros and cons of each school, and then we'll arrive at the choice that's best for me from both an academic and a playing standpoint,' he said. "I think we'll make the right choice."

For Nelson, making the right choice will definitely involve his dad, who played one year at Texas before finishing his college career at Texas-Arlington. His dad is not a domineering father, but instead is concerned and caring, nurturing his son along and teaching him the right way to go about decision making.

"My dad really helps me," said Nelson. "He sees things I don't see, and of course, I see some things he doesn't, too. We'll make the choice together and I'm very comfortable with that."

At Wichita Falls Rider, Nelson turned in a spectacular senior season with 91 catches for 1,641 yards and 18 touchdowns. For his two years at Rider, the numbers were 141 catches, 2720 yards and 32 touchdowns.

When he's not making recruiting trips or playing in a football all-star game now that his high school football career has ended, he's playing center for Rider's basketball team, averaging 19 points and 11 rebounds.

"We're 6-2 with me in the lineup," he said. "We're 13-8 overall. I play center because I'm probably the tallest guy in the school."

When the recruiting process began, Nelson committed to Ty Willingham and Notre Dame, but because Willingham was fired, the big wide receiver says, "Well, it's obvious that a lot of things have changed there. They're still in it, but I've got other schools I'm thinking about."

Iowa is in it for a variety of reasons, one of which is Coach Kirk Ferentz, whom he says is "really genuine and that impresses me."

UCLA wasn't even in the picture until recently, but the Bruins and Coach Karl Dorrell have made up some ground and they'll get a visit.

"There are some things about UCLA which I think it would be smart to consider," he said. "I'm going to take a look at them and make a visit."

Florida has probably made up the most ground. Coach Urban Meyer and his wide receivers coach Billy Gonzales have built a strong relationship. There's a former Notre Dame connection at Florida also in co-defensive coordinator Greg Mattison, who was responsible for recruiting him to South Bend originally.

"I talk to Coach Meyer and I talked to Coach Gonzales just before the dead period began," said Nelson. "Florida is a very interesting place for me."

He watched most of the bowl games, but two games in particular stood out. He thoroughly enjoyed watching Iowa beat LSU on the final play of the game to win the Capital One Bowl in Orlando, and he came away completely impressed with Coach Meyer's last game at Utah in which the Utes dominated Pitt in the Fiesta Bowl

"I was really impressed with the way that Iowa won at the end," he said. "That was really exciting. Drew Tate really throws the ball well and he spreads it around. Iowa has good receivers but they don't have a lot of depth, so it would be a chance for me to get in their early to play

"Utah was good, too. I was very impressed with what they did, how they spread the field out and used their receivers, how they get them open. They do one of the best jobs I've seen of getting their wide receivers open.

"The team they were playing knew they were going to throw the ball and they still ended up throwing for more than 400 yards. They really do a good job of scheming their offense to use all their people and that's what Coach Meyer is bringing to Florida."

There will be plenty of time to think about recruiting after Saturday's US Army All-American Bowl game. For now, he is squarely focused on doing whatever he needs to do to help the West come away with a win.

"I'm here to help my team," he said. "I hope I'll have a chance to do something that can make a difference."

The U.S. Army All-American Bowl is played in San Antonio, Texas., at the Alamodome on Jan. 15, 2005, and broadcast nationally on NBC at 1 p.m. eastern. is a sponsor, the official selection partner and exclusive on-line partner of the U.S. Army All-American Bowl, as well as the associated U.S. Army Combine for underclassmen.

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