21 in 21: DE Justin Nelson

The 21 in 21 series is designed to introduce fans to the newcomers arriving at Rutgers this summer. In a once a day format, ScarletReport.com presents profiles of the class of 2014. Today, we look at Wayne (N.J.) DePaul defensive end Justin Nelson.

Wayne (N.J.) DePaul defensive end Justin Nelson was the first Jersey commit to Rutgers coach Kyle Flood in the 2014 class, and his 16-month wait comes to an end June 22.

Nelson is at the end of his senior year, and will enroll alongside the bulk of the 2014 class for summer workouts.

"I'm just patiently waiting and grinding," Nelson said. "Just keep grinding every day, and hopefully that can put me on the field my freshman year. I'm grinding two times a day, six days a week just doing everything I've got to do to get ready for the Big Ten."

The 6-foot-1, 245-pound defensive end hopes to compete for early playing time at one of the deepest positions on the roster.

"I'm a Jersey guy and I play hard-nose football," Nelson said. "I'm going to bring it on defense. I'm going to rush to the ball. I'm going to hustle every play. I've been talking to guys like Davon Jacobs, Steve Longa, Ryan Brodie, and they all tell me to get ready to run. Get ready to run. Get ready to lift. It's going to be an every-day grind."

Nelson was the first New Jersey prospect to commit to Rutgers in his class, which is a source of pride to the incoming defensive end.

"I wanted to make a statement that Jersey football is strong," Nelson said. "If everyone was to stay in Jersey, we'd be the force to be reckoned with. For me, I was committed the whole time because I love Rutgers. I love the players. I love the coaches. It's just home for me."

Nelson's cited his relationships with the staff as a reason for motivation. He is eager to play for defensive line coach Jim Panagos and defensive coordinator Joe Rossi.

"Those guys are probably the reason I committed," Nelson said. "They're high-energy guys. They're motivators. That's a good fit for me, and playing for them is going to be a blessing. I can't wait."

Nelson also credits the Rutgers staff with classroom help. Focusing on academics was a primary reason for his early decision.

"They've been very instrumental in getting me ready," Nelson said. "The coaches are on me every day. They're that extra push that helps me when I'm down. When I don't feel like doing something, ‘Justin did you hand that project in?' They give me that extra push, and I like it. I feel like I'm a guy that needs that edge, and I'm very thankful to them."


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