RECRUITING: Nelson has offer, will visit UF Jan 28

It will be another two weeks before David Nelson pays Gainesville a visit, but when the 6-6, 198-pound wide receiver from Wichita Falls (TX) Rider arrives at the University of Florida for his official visit, he will already have in hand just what he needs.

"Florida offered me a scholarship this week," he said Thursday at media day at the Alamo Dome where the US Army All-American Bowl Game will be played Saturday. "I'm very happy about that. I've been talking to the coaches a lot and they call me every day."

There are four teams on Nelson's wish list (Florida, Iowa, Notre Dame and UCLA). He was committed to Notre Dame prior to the dismissal of Ty Willingham, and though he hasn't backed out of the commitment to the Irish, he's looking seriously elsewhere. He said that Florida and Iowa are the two schools pursuing him most heavily.

"Florida and Iowa both have been recruiting me hard," he said, noting that it's not just the coaches. Here at the US Army All-American Bowl Game, he's been a recruiting target of a couple of Iowa-bound players including the father of one of the players committed to Iowa.

In practice for the West team this week, he has been on the receiving end of passes from the two top quarterbacks in the US, Ryan Perrilloux of Reserve, Louisiana and Mark Sanchez of Mission Viejo, California. In camps during the summer, he and Perrilloux worked together several times. Now he's getting a chance to work with Sanchez, too.

"Both of them are really good," he said. "Since the summer, Ryan's developed more touch on the ball. During the summer he would fire everything hard and on a line, but he's improved in that area. He's got some touch now and he's more accurate.

"Mark really knows where to put the ball. Once he finds out where you like it, he's very good about getting the ball to you right there every time. Both of them have all the intangibles you look for in a winning quarterback."

David Nelson will not make an official commitment until he completes his visits. He will be at UCLA next weekend, at UF on January 28.


Here are some other notables and quotables from Thursday's media day for the US Army All-American Bowl Game.


DeSean Jackson countered rumors that he has totally written off the Florida Gators. Early in the week Jackson told that he was trying to work out a visit to Gainesville but somehow, a rumor surfaced on Wednesday that he had eliminated the Gators.

"I've still got Florida in it," said the 5-11, 180-pound wide receiver from Long Beach Poly. "I'm gonna trip to Florida and see what it's like. It's going to take a lot to get me off the West Coast, but if they're the right place, I'd go there."

Jackson is a two-sport star who some scouts project to be a first round choice in the baseball draft in June. He's a nice combination of power and speed who some project to go very early in the draft. Though the potential of big money from the baseball draft might be tempting, he says he's far more inclined to go on to college to try his hand at two sports.

"I'm going to have a two-sport career in college," he said. "I want to see if I could be an All-America in football and baseball. I could sign for baseball, but it would have to be a lot of money… a whole lot of money, otherwise I'm better off to go on to college."

Because of his desire to play both sports most think that he'll wind up a few miles up the road at Southern Cal, which has a history of great two-sport stars who played baseball including Anthony Davis (football/baseball), Randy Johnson (basketball/baseball) and Jack Del Rio (football/baseball) among others. Southern Cal has an outstanding baseball program, but so do the other schools he's still considering.

"Southern Cal and Cal are still at the top and it's going to take a lot to make me lose the west coast," he said, "but I will keep looking at Florida and I'm checking out LSU, too. I've heard from their new coach (Les Miles."


Jerrell Powe, the monstrous defensive lineman from Waynesboro, Mississippi, tends to be a chatterbox when he's lined up over the center.

"I love to talk to the quarterback," said the 6-4, 322-pound nose tackle. "I always ask him, what's it gonna be? Paper or plastic?"

He's not quite as gentle with centers.

"I just tell them I'm coming soon as you snap the ball and there's nothing you can do to stop me," he said.

He's narrowed his choices down to LSU, Auburn and Ole Miss. He says he will announce a commitment Saturday during the US Army All-American Bowl Game but cautioned, "Just because I commit on Saturday doesn't mean I can't change my mind on signing day."

Powe has battled through strep throat during the week. He had a 103 temperature Wednesday plus he battled through some dehydration issues, but says he will be fine by Saturday and ready to play.

Powe's got some work to do on his academic ledger. He could be prep school or juco bound.


Maurice Wells was thought to be a two-horse race between Ohio State and Georgia Tech, but the 5-10, 185-pound tailback from Jacksonville Sandalwood has opened the door this week for other schools.

"I just got a call from Notre Dame," he said. "I talked to Charlie Weis. Ty Willingham was recruiting me before he got fired."

Florida recruited Wells under Coach Ron Zook, but the Gators were already falling off his radar when Zook was canned back in October. Coach Urban Meyer and his staff have recently made the effort to get back into Wells' good graces.

"Yeah, Florida has called me," he said. "I've got one visit left and I might take it at Florida. I'll talk to my family and see what they have to say about it.

"It would be hard for another team to get into it because I really like Georgia Tech and Ohio State, but I'll listen and go from there."

He's particularly fond of Georgia Tech Coach Chan Gailey, a former UF quarterback.

"He's a straight shooter all the way," said Wells. "He says he's committed to the running game and you can see it the way they play. They're going to run the ball. They took a walkon tailback and made a thousand yard back out of him."

Wells has no problems qualifying for school. He's a National Honor Society student who says credits his parents for making certain he made schoolwork his first priority.

"They had me thinking about life after football a long time ago," he said, noting that he is looking to major in communications or sports management.

From a Navy family, he's lived outside the United States. A tour of Japan was an interesting experience for him, but even though he found Japan fascinating, he never developed a taste for Japanese food.

"I'm a meat and potatoes guy," he said.


RJ Jackson, the 5-11, 200-pound do-everything tailback from Houston Westside says that recruiting is just "going crazy" the past few days. He's changing his cell phone number because he's getting way too many calls.

"There are quite a few schools trying to make a big push for me," he said, "but I'm pretty much settled on Oklahoma State, Texas, Florida and LSU."

What keeps the four schools on his list at the top is that all four have made it clear that they want him to be a multi-tasker. He's got the skills to run from the II-formation or shotgun, run screens and short routes, or flank him out of the backfield where he can work as a wide receiver.

"Some schools want me just to run the ball but that's not for me," he said. "I am going to go somewhere that has an offense that let's me run and catch the ball. I have multiple skills and I want to play somewhere that will let me use all of them."

He will visit Florida on January 28 along with wide receiver Brandon LaFell, the 6-3, 175-pound wideout from Houston Lamar who is his close friend.

"We're pretty much a package deal," he said. "We're pretty determined to go to school together."

He's already qualified and thanks a cousin for helping to prepare for the recruiting process.

"He got me ready to be recruited," he said. "He always made sure I took care of he grades because football will only last so long. I've got good grades and I'll do whatever I have to do to succeed in the classroom."

Jackson is planning to major in business.


Michael Oher, the 6-5, 340-pound offensive guard from Memphis Briarcrest, shocked quite a few people with his athletic ability Thursday afternoon prior to the skills competition. Oher showed that he's got a big time arm and very soft hands, consistently throwing the football more than 50 yards on the fly and then making some nifty catches.

He's such a big guy that most people overlook his nimble feet. He plays basketball at Briarcrest, averaging more than 20 points per game.

"I don't score 20 a game just because I'm a big guy," he said. "I get the points because I'm just good. You don't score 20 a game in Memphis if you're not a pretty good player. The competition's too good."

Oher's final two choices are LSU and Tennessee.


The U.S. Army All-American Bowl is played in San Antonio, Texas, at the Alamo Dome 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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