Montgomery, Alabama native Antonio Nelson committed to the University of Florida last year, but ended up enrolling at Coahoma Community College in Clarksdale, Mississippi to begin his college career. With one season remaining as a CCC Tiger, Nelson is grateful for the opportunities has been afforded.
"It's been a good experience being there," Nelson said of Coahoma. "I like all of the coaches and I have enjoyed getting to know all of my teammates. It's a small town, so there is not a whole lot to do. We spend most of our time just going to school, lifting and playing football."
Last fall, Nelson was among the national leaders in interceptions with eight thefts to go along with 41 tackles. For his efforts, Nelson was named a 1st Team All-American by the NJCAA. Not content to rest on last year's accomplishments, the 6-3, 190 pound defensive back is working hard to be a more polished player this fall.
"This spring, I am really working hard on my footwork," Nelson said. "I want to be faster, so I am working on my speed drills and just trying to be better at everything. I am still working hard to get better."
Home state power Alabama has shown some interest in the talented Nelson, but to date has not extended an offer. A quartet of schools have made their intentions apparent by making a formal offer to sign with their programs in December.
"Mississippi State, Memphis, Southern Miss and West Virginia have all offered me," Nelson said. "There are a lot of other schools that are talking with me that haven't offered yet. Mississippi State and Memphis are recruiting me the hardest right now. I haven't had a chance to visit any of the schools that have offered me yet, but I will pretty soon."
Nelson is not yet ready to name an overall leader or really tip his hand about potential signing day favorites. Heading into spring practice, the long and lean corner is thinking long term and doing his research about the schools making him a priority.
"I am looking at the academic side of things, because I want to get my degree," Nelson said. "I want to go where I have a good relationship with the coaches and the other players and where I can get some playing time."
Nelson is on track to graduate from Coahoma with his associates degree following the Fall semester. The current plan is to take his official visits prior to making a final decision sometime around the junior college signing date in December.