DAY THREE: One on One with David Nelson

Wide receiver David Nelson has assignments to cram for before he can step out before 90,000 rabid Florida fans in "The Swamp." The former high school honor student has already been schooled in one of those all-important aspects. He began his second course this afternoon.

"We haven't blocked much until today when we got into the pads," Nelson said. "I think that I did pretty well, but I missed a few assignments. Coach Gonzales is always preaching to us that if you can't block, you can't play. He doesn't care if you can catch balls. He doesn't care if you can run your routes. If you can block, then you're going to play for him. That's really my main focus right now. Learn the blocking, and everything else will fall behind that."

If Nelson (6-5 186) is going to be that elusive fifth receiver he understands that he must get more physical. Blocking is just one part of the equation.

"If I'm going to be that fifth receiver, I need to be more physical with my hands and get off of the re-route," he said. "Once I get off of the re-route, my routes will be fine. I can then just calm down and go make a play."

Making plays would be so much easier if it weren't for those pesky Florida defensive backs.

"They're tough," Nelson said with a grin. "All of those guys are just tremendous athletes. Not only are they quick and fast, but they're very physical. It's taking me a little while to get off of the re-route and the line of scrimmage. As soon as that ball is snapped, their hands are on you. You have to be ready."


Dorian Munroe and David Nelson learn the art of blocking

Nelson has been schooled in the first lesson that seemingly grabs every recruit who passes through the Gator Proving Grounds. Speed.

"I struggled a little bit yesterday with the speed of the game," he said. "But, I did well today and I'm trying to learn the plays. Even at the U.S. Army All-American Game, that was something different for me. Everybody out here was a stud at their high school."

"Yesterday, (the feedback from he coaches) was pretty negative. Like I said, I struggled with the speed. Today, I did better, caught a few balls, ran my routes right, so I felt better today. I felt better about the offense. I read my playbook last night and studied a little better, so I felt more comfortable today."

Nelson seemingly understands the rigors of freshman football and just wants to play a role. He appears to be a guy that picks things up very quickly and puts team oriented goals ahead of his own.

"I want to contribute to the team whatever, wherever they need me," he stated. "Whether that's blocking, whether that's running the field, whether that's giving the starters a breather, or whether that's making big time plays. I feel like I'm definitely capable of making big time plays. But, definitely wherever the team needs me as a freshman coming in. I'm here just to win and contribute wherever I can."

If he conquers the physical demands of getting those defensive backs off of him and consistently blocking when asked, those contributions might come sooner rather than later.


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