Nash and other Division I college athletes helped build Timber Creek into a back-to-back state championship squad and one of the most desirable landing spots for South Jersey football players.
Now three weeks away from Rutgers, Nash has the same vision for when the bulk of his recruiting classes joins coach Kyle Flood in Piscataway.
"We weren't the greatest team, but for [Timber Creek coach Rob Hinson] to trust us and lead us to bigger things got us a championship," Nash said. "I guess you could say we started from the bottom, worked hard and improved a lot. When you work hard, regardless of the past, you can change things. Everyone will believe in you. We really shocked everyone and now we feel like we can do anything if we work hard."
Flood's first two recruiting classes were two of the highest rated groups in Rutgers history. Nash and other top New Jersey prospects expect the classes to only strengthen with the move to the Big Ten and a share of the schools' first conference title.
"That's what helped me out in my decision with Rutgers and what's going to help a lot of other kids at my school, I hope, make that decision," Nash said. "We don't look at it as who's good now. We're not afraid of work. We're not afraid of working to get to the next level. It's not about joining a winner where everyone wants to go. It's better when you earn it and you can see the progress and get better."
Seeing a five-star prospect like Jabrill Peppers commit to another Big Ten school stings for Nash, who wants to keep the top talent in New Jersey.
"When you see a kid like Jabrill, and he's going to Michigan, I just don't understand that when you can do the same thing and play where you're from," Nash said. "I didn't understand that. You're going to Michigan or wherever to play against where you're from. I understand they have some more tradition or the prestige. Rutgers, we don't have that yet. But that's what we all want to do, so kids like Jabrill will eventually go there. Ultimately, it's going to change at Rutgers when you see a bunch of kids going there."
Nash is set to join Rutgers in three weeks with the majority of the 2013 recruiting class. Beginning the second of three summer sessions before training camp, Nash said he feels as mentally and physically prepared as possible.
The 6-foot-4 outside linebacker needs to gain weight to become an every-down player at the position but he is ready for time in a college strength and conditioning program.
"I'm getting things done in the classroom," he said. "I've just been working hard trying to get my footwork down, get my agility up, get bigger, stronger, faster. It's a dream situation to take that step toward Rutgers and the NFL and it's exciting to embark on this journey. I'm really excited and pumped up."
Nash has a handful of former teammates playing BCS football, including future teammate Quanzell Lambert. Lambert enters his second camp at Rutgers this year and gave plenty of advice to Nash about the transition from Timber Creek.
"He's definitely helped me a lot," Nash said. "I was with him during break before he went back to Rutgers. He's just telling me a lot of stuff. It's going to get hard. There's going to be a moment where I question myself and ask if this is what I really want to do. It's going to be hard, but once you make that transition it gets easier. It gets fun. I have to make sure football continues to be fun for me."
"Talking to Damiere Byrd, he said the main thing is keeping my confidence," Nash said. "It isn't 'oh I have to do this or I won't play.' He told me to make my mistakes. If you get yelled at, you get yelled at. Don't let it get you down. Don't lose your confidence. When you lose your confidence, you start to play bad. When you start to play bad, you don't play at all."
And as he finalizes preparations for enrollment, Nash likes to review the latest NFL draft. Rutgers set a school record for draft picks in 2013 and had more players picked than any other Big Ten team.
Rutgers saw two linebackers and five total defensive players drafted.
"When you know a lot of the guys getting drafted, it's like wow," Nash said. "I can do it too. It was overwhelming. When you see guys like Marcus Cooper. He was a nickel corner and he got drafted. As long as you work hard and play, anything can happen. You don't have to be a superstar. There's always an opportunity just because of the type of program that Rutgers is building -- high quality men."
Nash, who announced his commitment at last year's Rutgers camp, did so in front of his teammates and ScarletReport.com.