Nelson Reacts To Henton Verbal

Ohio State has already landed a commitment from quarterback Antonio Henton of Georgia, but if they decide to take another this year, a prime candidate might be Cleveland Glenville's Arvell Nelson. Nelson had a fine camp season and is still interested in the Buckeyes. Dave Biddle caught up with him for the latest.

Cleveland Glenville quarterback Arvell Nelson was surprised to learn that Georgia QB Antonio Henton verbally committed to Ohio State last week.

"He committed? I didn't know that," Nelson told Bucknuts. "I think that's what Ohio State was waiting on. They said they were going to offer me (a scholarship) if he didn't commit."

Nelson (6-4, 175, 4.7) attended OSU's advanced camp on June 25, along with Henton and several other top players.

"It went great," Nelson said. "I enjoyed the competition, mainly. There was great competition down there."

Nelson spent a lot of time visiting with Ohio State's coaches.

"I was talking a lot with my recruiting coordinator, coach (Tim) Beckman, the corners coach," he said. "I got familiar with the quarterbacks coach (Joe Daniels) as well. (Head coach Jim) Tressel was also out there looking. He was impressed, he said. He said he was impressed with my arm and my accuracy on the ball."

Even with the Henton verbal, Nelson says the Buckeyes would be his No. 1 choice.

"Ohio State, they are at the top," he said. "Then Iowa, Wisconsin, Syracuse and North Carolina. All of those schools have offered, except Ohio State. All MAC schools have offered, Kansas, Michigan State and I think a few more."

It is unlikely that Ohio State would take two quarterbacks in the 2006 class – especially a pair of "dual-threat" quarterbacks – but Nelson is keeping his options open.

"I want to be the only quarterback, but I could be in a class with two quarterbacks," he said. "I compete real well."

Hey, it worked out for Troy Smith, part of a two-QB class in 2002, along with Justin Zwick.

Nelson was not Glenville's starting quarterback as a sophomore. Someone named Ted Ginn Jr. was at the controls.

But Nelson took the reins in 2004 and threw for 1,600 yards and 13 touchdowns, and led the Tarblooders to the Division I state semifinals. His statistics would have been better, but he missed six games during the regular season.

"Yeah, I played four games early, then I got injured, then I came back in the playoffs for those four games," he said.

Nelson is ranked as Ohio's 19th-best prospect by Ohio High. His stock continues to rise after an impressive showing on Ted Ginn Sr.'s bus tour that traveled to various college football camps.

"We had a lot of breakdowns with the bus, but it was fun," Nelson said. "There were a lot of new guys that I didn't know. Got to meet a lot of new people."

Nelson was asked for the best and worst part about the trip.

"The worst part was the driving," he said. "That was bad. That was the worst part: going across the country.

"The best part was interacting with new coaches and new players. And getting myself exposed to different colleges that might not have saw me play before."

Nelson felt as if he was at the top of his game throughout the tour.

"Yeah, I did," he said. "I felt like I threw the ball well at every stop. I think I did what I needed to do."

Each year, Glenville seems to get better. In addition to Nelson, some of the Tarblooders' top players in 2005 include WR/CB Ray Small, DE Robert Rose, and OL Bryant Browning.

"State championship is our goal," Nelson said, matter-of-factly. "I don't think we are going to lose a game this year. Most of our whole offense is back this year, and we've got some new guys transferred in that just came over."

Nelson is friends with all of his teammates. But says he and Browning are tight.

"He's a great guy," Nelson said. "He's real smart. With him up there, there's not going to be any pressure."

Nelson and Browning want to play together in college, but they understand it might not happen.

"It does matter in a small way," Nelson said. "But if we go separate places, we'll still be cool. But we're trying to go to the same spot."

Nelson is an athletic quarterback. He can beat you with his legs. But make no mistake about it: he is a pass-first QB with a big arm. Ginn Sr. describes him as a "pro-style guy."

"I'm more of a pocket passer, but I can get out the pocket," Nelson said.

Nelson knows he needs to put on weight and muscle, but feels that will come with time.

He carries a GPA of 3.0 (3.5 the past school year) and scored a 15 on the ACT.

"I'll get that up – it was my first try," he said.


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