Nelson Looking for More than Football

In his first of three official visits, Lakeland (Fla.) Victory Christian Academy defensive tackle, Chris Nelson, took a short trip over to the University of South Florida over the weekend. Where do the Bulls stand following Nelson's visit?

It's been a busy past couple of weeks for Chris Nelson, a 6-foot-3, 280-pound 3-star defensive lineman from Lakeland (Fla.) Victory Christian Academy. Following his de-commitment from the Louisville Cardinals, Charlie Strong is seeking to acquire Nelson's verbal commitment once again, this time for the University of Texas.

Before taking a trip to the Lone Star State on Jan. 24, Nelson and his mother took a short trip over to the University of South Florida over the weekend for his first official visit, and had a great time doing so.

"It really was a great visit at USF," Nelson said. "I already took a visit down there before with my dad and he liked it. This time, I brought my mom and she liked it as well. We had a great visit."

The Victory Christian Academy standout is quite familiar with the game of football. On his visit, Nelson was looking for more than football.

"You know, I kind of took football out the way and thought about the people and what not," Nelson said. "The coaches sat down with us and we went to play laser tag with the coaches and players. We had a great bond because I took football out of the way because that's second nature and all. I just wanted to see how I bonded with the coaches and players."

Coach Eric Mathies (defensive line) and coach Ron Cooper (defensive backs) have had the responsibility of recruiting Nelson throughout the process. Both coaches could help season the young defensive lineman throughout college, but education comes first at the University of South Florida.

"They (coaches) said everyone at USF is like a big family," Nelson said. "They want me to get better and work with me to get out of the college so I can receive my degree. The coaches said they would take care of me if I came to USF. Honestly, I would rate the visit a eight or nine."

Almost this time last year, the Bulls' received their first verbal commitment in the 2014 class from Immokalee (Fla.) linebacker, Jimmy Bayes. Over the weekend, Bayes was in attendance on the visit and did his own share of recruiting as well."

"Yeah, me and Jimmy, Jimmy Bayes," Nelson said. "He was just saying that USF was the place for him. He's trying to get me to come there as well, and said we could make a big change for the program. He said we could make it rock. He was just telling me to make the move. That's what he kept telling me."

Nelson has plans to visit Texas this weekend, but is unsure which school he'll use his last official visit on before Signing Day.

"I have Texas on the 24th and I'm still trying to figure out this last visit," Nelson said. "It's between UCF, Notre Dame and Louisville, but most likely it's going to be between Louisville and Notre Dame. It's a tight schedule and I have to think hard, but I'm going to take football out the way to see if the people fit me like a family as well."

Nelson claims that he has no leaders in his recruitment, and is ranked the 39th best defensive tackle in the country by

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