Nelson Ready For His Turn at UCLA

Modesto (Calif.) Christian tight end Raymond Nelson talks about his official visit to UCLA and making his own name in Westwood...

Modesto (Calif.) Christian tight end Raymond Nelson said his official visit to UCLA was as good as one could be, even if he got shorted at the beginning of it.

"I couldn't go to the basketball game on Thursday night," said Nelson. "All of my family went, but because of NCAA rules, I couldn't go to the game yet because of my visit. So I missed it."

What he missed was his older brother Reeves Nelson, UCLA's starting forward, tip in a shot with a second left to beat Cal.

"I heard about it and saw it on television, but I was bummed I missed it," said Nelson.

That turned out to be the only blemish on what Nelson called a "perfect weekend."

"It was awesome there, you can't not have a good time down there," said Nelson. "I was hosted by Phil Ruhl and Aramide Olaniyan and we just had a really good time."

Nelson did get to go to the basketball game on Saturday against Stanford, and settled for seeing his brother, who he's extremely close with, get a career-high in rebounds.

"That was fun getting to watch him on Saturday and hearing how much the students like him and how everyone knows him," said Nelson. "I spent a lot of the weekend with Reeves. The football team and basketball team are really close and hang out a lot, so Reeves told me that I should ask Coach (Rick) Neuheisel to get AO as my host because he and my brother are friends. I don't get to go down there a lot, so getting to spend time with him was good because I miss him."

From a football standpoint, the weekend was beneficial to Nelson.

"We got to meet Coach (Mike) Johnson and he just told me he was excited for me to come down this summer," said Nelson. "We didn't talk a lot of Xs and Os, but he and Coach Neuheisel said they wanted me to be a true tight end and want me to be used not just as a blocker but as a receiver too. They asked me before (they offered) if I wanted to play on offense or defense, but from the beginning, I've always wanted to be a tight end."

Nelson said he got to talk briefly with incoming quarterback Brett Hundley.

"I saw him one night before he had to head back to Arizona for a school thing, but we talked a lot and he's a really good guy and I've heard he's a really good player," said Nelson.

Nelson has been to UCLA several times before when his brother was being recruited and for occasional basketball games the past two years, but he said the visit allowed him to see several parts of UCLA and the surrounding parts, he'd not seen before.

"Clark Lea, the linebackers coach, is the one recruiting me and he and I spent about an hour with Coach Neuheisel, driving around L.A., just cruising around LA and talking. We went on some other tours talked with him a lot. I think it's funny I know Coach Lea the best, because I'll be going against him the next few yours."

Nelson said he's looking forward to going to school with his brother.

"It's going to be a blast because we're best friends," said Nelson. "Watching him now, I can't wait to get out on the field there and I think about it every day. It's kind of crazy how many people think highly of him and everyone knows his name. He's definitely a really tough dude and everyone knows it. I'm going to try to make my opponents think of me like that. I've never gotten a tattoo but I might even get one in college."

Nelson said he's currently weighing 240 and that he's hoping to add some weight by the time he gets to UCLA.

"All of the talks I've had with Coach Neuheisel and the other coaches, they said I have the potential to play a lot as long as I keep my weight training," said Nelson. "I want to come in at 250, so that's 10 more pounds. I'm 6-5 right now."

And Nelson is eager about his career in general at UCLA.

"I think my 4-5 years there will be the best years of my life," said Nelson. "We're trying to convince my mom to move down there."


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