Last Friday, Ricky Nelson got word that his coach cancelled their afternoon practice. So it freed up a little time before he and his family decided to head out on their way to his AAU tournament in Dallas. Nelson and his family decided on a detour, and headed west on I-10 to stop by the UTSA campus. The coaching staff had been hot on his trail and he wanted to see what the Roadrunners had to offer.
Although he was pressed for time, still needing to make the trek up I-35, the visit paid off in many ways, and Nelson nabbed an offer from Coach Henson and the UTSA staff.
"I was kind of expecting it because they've been pretty hard on me. I've got good relationships with both Coach Scott Thompson and Coach Mike Peck. It kind of caught me by surprise, but I was still happy," said Nelson.
Ricky admitted to being surprised and impressed with what the Conference USA program had to offer. From it's athletics, education, and to the campus.
"I got to see really everything, the student center, the whole campus, academic buildings, the basketball arena, coaches office, they're plan for building new facilities, and just all that stuff," said Nelson. "I did know about UTSA before they started recruiting me, but that was my first time on campus. It actually caught me by surprise. I wasn't expecting it to be that big, I wasn't expecting it to be that large, but it's in a nice city, I really liked it."
With UTSA's offer, Ricky now had a total of 8 scholarships on the table: UTSA, Texas Arlington, Lamar, Texas A&M Corpus Christi, Houston Baptist University, Northern Arizona University, University of Texas Rio-Grande Valley (UTRGV), and Weber State.
Nelson is a 6'1" 170lb point guard from Houston Episcopal High School and plays for Houston Elite, an Adidas Grassroots program, on the AAU circuit.
On the floor, Nelson is a complete point guard. He's a vocal leader and his actions back his words. He plays the part of catalyst in order to get his team going. Whether it's getting his teammates the ball, or being asked to score, he has no issues in doing either. His jump shot stretches past the three point line, but he does not shy away from using his mid-range jumper.
With so many options, Nelson will finish out his summer and then at the beginning of his senior year, make a decision. It's only a few months away, so Ricky already knows what he's looking for in a college program.
"I'm looking for somewhere I can come in, play through mistakes, play early and often. A coaching staff that's going allow to me grow, let me better as a player and a person."
Of his current 8 offers, 6 are from within state boundaries, some are right in his backyard or an easy drive away, but Nelson makes it clear that distance will not factor into his decision at all. As for the 'Runners, it's a program that is seriously drawing his attention.
"It's definitely a school I can take more serious after sitting down with the coaches and talking to them. My dad has a good relationship with Coach Henson from his time at UNLV."
Other than UTSA, Nelson has also unofficially visited HBU and has some other unofficial visits planned, but is still ironing out details. Even better news for the 'Runners, Nelson is planning on using one of his official visits for UTSA. It's not set in stone when, but the month of September is the target time for his official visit back to Roadrunner country.