A prime transfer candidate as an upperclassman without a role on a two-deep, Nash considered it before Ash took over the program.
One meeting with Ash, and Nash decided to fight.
“It was no secret after last year there were rumblings about me possibly transferring or possibly leaving,” Nash said. “That was really a tough time. Toward the end of the season, you're like 'yo you don't really know what you're going to do.' Coach Ash came and I saw it as a fresh start for me.”
Nash started at the bottom under Ash. His brief stint at tight end died immediately, but he worked with the threes in spring camp. A significant amount of that work came in the weight room with strength coach Kenny Parker.
For a kid that played at 180 pounds for Rob Hinson as a senior at Erial (N.J.) Timber Creek, Nash checks in at 260 pounds on game week.
“I remember when I first came here, I was telling [Kevin] Snyder, 'yo man I want to get up to like 240.' He's like, 'no way, the most you'll get up to is like 225.' I'm like 'oh man.' I just took that with a grain of salt,” Nash said. “I know he was probably playing but just hearing that and seeing where I am now at 260. Coach Parker, he messes around and says, 'next year 270, 275.' It's a fun process gaining weight. Going back home, people don't recognize you and things like that.”
Nash was a three-star recruit in the class of 2013 and the top outside linebacker in New Jersey. While Rutgers struggled in recruiting with other top targets, Nash was a vocal supporter of staying in-state.
“It's been a long wait these past couple of years,” Nash said. “I played a couple of snaps but not really in important moments of the game. I feel like I'm ready to burst on the scene this year and finally pan out as the recruit that I was thought to be when I came out of high school.
“... Just being able to represent New Jersey, represent my family back home, represent my high school, my little brother back home (Jordan Nash) who's playing for Timber Creek now. Just to make my parents proud and my family proud, they have been rooting for me since a young age. My mom and dad who have been at all my games and have been a great support system for me. I'm just really excited to put all of my talent on display and show how hard I've been working. Hopefully it pays off come Saturday.”
Worth Noting – Defensive end Kemoko Turay missed all of spring practice in a sling. In fall camp, he worked some individual drills but spent the majority of his time in conditioning. His first day back was Tuesday.
Turay worked on the scout team today.
“He’s still not full-go yet,” said defensive line coach Shane Burnham. “We’re going back into full contact. He was limited from contact from the start of camp, so he’s in my indi and that’s about the extent that he got from individual drills. Now, just recently, we’ve gotten him back into full contact stuff. He’s still protective in that green jersey, but trying to get him comfortable and test the limits of it. He’s been clear for that, but we’re not just trying to throw him back that way immediately.”
Quote of the Day – “They kept it real with me. Don't really blame anybody else for anything that's happened. You have to be a man and own up to your mistakes. I just went with that, ran with it. I just worked hard day in and day out with the staff. I have a great relationship with the staff here. I just really appreciate the fact that God blessed me with a second chance with this great group of guys around us.” – Nash on his relationship with Chris Ash and the coaching staff.