Family ties point Florida DT to UK

One-time University of Virginia commitment Chris Nelson has re-opened his recruitment and drawn several additional scholarship offers from major programs across the country, including one from Mark Stoops' Wildcats.

Never underestimate family connections when it comes to the recruiting game.

Kentucky recently extended a new scholarship offer to a defensive tackle from the Sunshine State thanks to a teammate having a family member on the UK staff.

"My teammate's dad had sent my film up to Kentucky because one of his cousins, Chad Scott, is up there now," said Lakeland (Fla.) Victory Christian standout Chris Nelson. "They took a look at my film and got back with me real soon saying I had a scholarship offer up there."

Asked what his reaction to the offer was, the 6-foot-3, 290-pound Nelson said: "I thought it was great. I don't know a great deal about them yet, but I like how it's in the SEC and they're talking about how Kentucky is on the rise. Coach Scott says they had a lot of excitement for their spring game. I plan on getting up there this summer for a visit."

Nelson said the UK staff was drawn to his combination of size and speed. As a junior, he used those tools to record 76 tackles, eight sacks and two forced fumbles. He also scored a pair of touchdowns in part-time duty as a fullback. He moves so well that his coaches are considering letting him play some tight end this season.

"Everybody says they love my agility for a big man," he said. "I have really good footwork."

Nelson was originally committed to Virginia, but re-opened the process this spring when a steady flow of coaches from other programs across the country made their way to his school. He has 12 offers now, including BCS programs like UK, Miami, South Florida, Purdue, Iowa, Duke and Pitt.

"Pitt came by and offered today," he said of his most recent offer, "and Missouri came by, too, and it sounds like they're about to offer."

Asked what he's looking for in a prospective school, Nelson said: "Mainly, it will be the coaching staff and the players in the program, how I feel around them. Also, how the school does academically and with graduating their players."

AllWildcats Top Stories