When all is said and done, Columbia (Mo.) Battle defensive end Jerrion Nelson would like to end up playing collegiate football somewhere relatively close to home.
The 6-foot-2, 255-pound defender added another option to fulfill that goal during the weekend as Iowa State joined Iowa, Ball State, Miami (OH), Missouri State, Toledo, Western Illinois and Bowling Green as schools to offer the defensive end.
“They said they were really slow in the process of watching the film and stuff. I waited a little bit to get that offer,” Nelson said of Iowa State, who he called Saturday. “They said they like my motor and the way I play. I play fast and physical.”
While Nelson is a defensive end at Battle High School, many schools, including Iowa State, are projecting him to play defensive tackle at the next level.
Nelson has quick change of direction with raw strength, and is willing to play anywhere so long as it’s in the trenches.
“I like anywhere on the D-line,” Nelson said. “You put me anywhere on the D-line and I’ll play it. I just like playing in the trenches.”
The next step in Nelson’s recruitment is getting to know more about the schools currently recruiting him. In addition to the Power 5 offers from Iowa and Iowa State, Nelson is drawing strong interest from Minnesota, where he has family.
Thus far, Nelson has taken visits to Iowa and Missouri State, and his summer plans entail visits to a number of other schools including Iowa State.
“I haven’t heard anything [about Iowa State]. That’s why I need to get up and see everything for myself and stuff like that,” Nelson said. “I’m going to get up there pretty soon. I’m just trying to figure it out, because I have to see what works with my high school schedule.”
Nelson staying close to home is an important factor in his decision, and thus far most of his options are relatively close drives from Columbia, Missouri. That includes Ames.
“For me, it’s not too far away from my mom and she can come to a lot of the games and stuff,” Nelson said. “I’ve got family in Minnesota, too, so then they can come to a game because it’s not too far from Minneapolis. My mom doesn’t want me to go too far and she wants to be able to see me and she wants me to [be able to] drive down and she can drive up.”
Nelson is currently unsure of a potential timeline for his recruitment, and is instead focused on a summer filled with visits to check out the other key factors in his decision aside from location.
“[Other factors are] the education piece, like am I going to get the right education in whatever I major in? Am I going to get the right help?” Nelson said. “Just stuff like that. And if all the coaching staff just feels like family, it’s a family atmosphere.”