Kevin Nelson Ties to Florida?

Gainesville High School was kind to the Gators last season with defensive end Earl Okine. Might head coach Ryan Smith look to send the Gators another defensive standout?

Kevin Nelson is quickly becoming one of the top players in the class of 2010. At 6-2, 220-pounds the safety/linebacker has worlds of potential. Nelson has good strength with a 335-pound bench, 700-pound squat and power cleans 275. He has racked up some very impressive numbers ever since he was a fullback during his ninth grade season. During his 10th grade season he increased his speed dramatically and moved to strong safety. This season head coach Ryan Smith wanted to move him into the middle to take advantage of his sideline to sideline speed.

  • 2006-2007 -- during his freshman year he totaled 47 tackles
  • 2007-2008 -- during his 10th grade season he finished with 55 tackles and 200 yards rushing.
  • 2008-2009 -- this past season he totaled 120 tackles, three sacks, three forced fumbles and one pass deflection.

    Smith was more than impressed with what he saw in The Swamp on Saturday.

    "I arrived at around 2:30 p.m.," he said. "I was with my girlfriend, aunt, brother and his wife and my cousin. When we got there we met up with some of the assistants for the recruiters and had a chance to eat. It was really cool, I loved it. They were making me feel like I was playing for the Gators and it was very energetic."

    Many of the recruits at the game on Saturday were feeling the same way that Nelson was.

    "They all seemed to have a good time," Nelson said. "Everyone was saying the same thing which was the game looked fun to play in and hopefully were going to be Gators. All I can say is that it ran through my body and it was fun."

    Coming off a game against Eastside this past Friday night, Nelson couldn't hear anything but when he sat in The Swamp on Saturday things were taking to a different level.

    "When I was at the Florida game it was 100 times louder," he said. "Brandon Spikes is the best linebacker in college right now. I feel like I play like him on Friday nights and I know if I become a Gator I would love to take over after him and set the same tone that he sets. There would be nothing better than following in his footsteps. When I was watching the defense I was calling plays with them as if I was on the field playing safety of linebacker, it was fun to watch."

    To anyone that had any doubts about his talent on or off the field Nelson has a very clear message.

    "I know I can play for the Gators or any other school in the country," Nelson said. "I can be a big impact and a leader not only on the field but in the classroom. As long as I get my grades I can play for anybody and hopefully it might just be the Orange and Blue squad."

    If it were up to two of his friends Earl Okine and Janoris Jenkins that may just happen, "They both say I am going to be a Gator."


  • Fightin Gators Top Stories