Nelson ended a phone conversation with Kelly, then minutes later called him back to commit and end a recruitment that saw him collect offers from coast-to-coast.
"(Kelly) asked where I was in the process and I said I just need a little more time, and we started talking about football," the 6-foot-5, 295-pound Nelson said. "He said, ‘Take all the time you want. You can commit to us in February. We want you.' That really sealed the deal for me. Just knowing I was wanted by them and they would wait for me that long, that did it.
"That really got me excited. I called him right back and said, ‘Coach Kelly, I already thought about it. I'm going to commit to Notre Dame.' He said, ‘My day's been made. Thank you very much. Congratulations, and I can't wait for you to be part of the tradition and part of the family.' "
The patience Kelly was willing to show to land Nelson said one thing, but it was the camaraderie of the players in the program, Nelson's desire to continue a Catholic education and the feel he got while visiting the campus last month.
And, it was also the reputation and teachings of Irish offensive line coach Harry Hiestand.
"His coaching style," Nelson said, "and just teaching and critiquing the players, and trying to make their technique perfect and expecting nothing less than that, and getting to talk to coach Kellly really sold me.
"It really came down to the business school being No. 1 in the country. I loved the campus, a small campus, and it was overall just the best fit for me academically, spiritually and athletically."
Nelson, who is the No. 8 offensive tackle in the class and No. 82 prospect in the nation, will head to Notre Dame to play left tackle.
"Coach Hiestand really likes my athleticism," Nelson said. "I just can't wait to be coached by him. In my opinion, he's the best offensive line coach in college football, and I can't wait. Coach Hiestand also coached with the (Chicago) Bears and showed me film of what run plays they run and how I would fit into the offense."
Now that Nelson's recruitment is over, he is ready to take a few deep breaths, and is also prepared to hit the recruiting trail. He already reached out to Desert Mountain High (Scottsdale, Ariz.) quarterback Kyle Allen.
"I'm very relieved. It feels like the weight of the world is off my shoulders," Nelson said. "Now, it's time to just prepare for Notre Dame. I still have one more season left to try and win a state championship, and I'm also going to try and recruit a few kids Notre Dame wants."