Scott Nelson is content to wait for Notre Dame to make the next move.
Last weekend the three-star safety from Detroit made a spring practice visit to South Bend. Defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder, defensive backs coach Todd Lyght and defensive line coach Keith Gilmore all had positive things to say.
Notre Dame has yet to make a scholarship offer. Gilmore, the area recruiter, gave the 6-foot-2, 190-pound athlete reasons for optimism anyway.
“They said I could definitely play there at free safety,” Nelson said. “They’re supposed to have a meeting, my high school coach told me they’re supposed to have a meeting one of the days this week about recruits and everything. We’ll see. Coach Gilmore said he definitely thinks I can play there but before they offer they wanted to get to know me and what I was like as a person.”
Nelson already has plenty of options. Boston College, Iowa, Iowa State, Michigan, Michigan State, Northwestern and Penn State are among the scholarship offers.
Visiting Notre Dame might have opened the door for another one. Should the Irish join, Nelson will have plenty of background knowledge after spending a day watching practice then touring the campus and facilities.
During practice, Nelson zeroed in on Lyght as he worked with the defensive backs.
“Practice was really cool to watch,” Nelson said. “They’re very productive and they don’t waste a lot of time. It’s like that with a lot of colleges. But there was very little standing around. They’re always doing something. They’re very high energy and high tempo, which I enjoy. I thought it was really good. I was able to watch what happens with the DBs and all the other positions and how coach Lyght coaches.
“It was really cool to get kind of a sneak peek of what it would be like if I were to go there.”
Lyght left Nelson with a positive impression both from coaching and talking after practice.
“Obviously, he’s one of the best there is coaching out there,” Nelson said. “His experience in college and the NFL is crazy. It’s definitely second to none. I think he really pushes the guys, the DBs and the whole defense. I think he cares about the guys. He might yell at them or something but then he’ll take them aside and teach them or talk to them. He’s really good from what I saw.”
Nelson next hopes to visit Michigan State for one of its spring practices. Then trips to Wisconsin and Penn State are in the works.
Iowa, Kentucky, Virginia, Wisconsin and Notre Dame are the programs in closest communication without having offered. Nelson said Michigan, Michigan State, Northwestern and Penn State are standing out, although he doesn’t have a formal top list.
Making a decision before the season is Nelson’s plan, pending new offers.
“If I can make my decision before the season and get it out of the way, that’d be great,” Nelson said. “But if I can’t then definitely not rushing into it and making any decisions that I have to go back on. So if I’m not ready, just wait it out. Before the season is kinda the goal but it’s more of a loose goal.”