A Rare Treat

It's a rare treat to go to a high school football game and get to see a major Division I prospect play. So imagine my delight when I was assigned the Palm Bay-Port St. Lucie game last Friday night and was able to see the Pirates' Reggie Nelson and Joe Cohen play.

The Pirates brought their 3-2 record and No.8 ranking in 4A to Jaguar Field and easily disposed of the overmatched PSL team to the tune of 60-7.

Nelson, rated the nation's No.2 safety prospect by TheInsiders.com, electrified the crowd immediately by taking the opening kickoff and ripping off a 41-yard gain. Four plays later, the 6-foot, 174-pound senior caught a pass from quarterback Andy Hornung and sprinted into the endzone from 14 yards out.

After forcing a PSL punt on the next series, Nelson fielded a punt at the 35 and raced away from the Jaguar pursuers, then jogged the last five yards for his second touchdown in four minutes.

"I took it pretty easy out there," said Nelson, who caught two passes for 30 yards. "We just didn't want to make any mistakes."

The two-way star said he has to make a choice of offense or defense at the next level, but said that "it really doesn't matter to me, I just really like to hit."

Nelson's teammate, standout athlete Joe Cohen, also made an impression. The 6-3, 245-pound man-child, rated as the nation's No.5 defensive end by TheInsiders.com, carried the ball twice from the fullback position. Shortly after Nelson's second score, Cohen took a handoff and darted through the PSL line. He easily the lone defender in the secondary by shoving him away with a stiff-arm, then dashed into the endzone for the easy touchdown.

"I like fullback," Cohen said, who didn't play a down on defense against PSL. "Really, I just like playing and being on the field. I still don't know which position I like better -- fullback, tailback, nose guard, or defensive end. I usually come in on third-and-long on defense, but I didn't tonight."

Both players said they were being contacted weekly by coach Greg Mark.

Canes Time Top Stories