Nelson Overcame Serious Illness

One of the top linemen at's So Cal combine was Ventura's James Nelson (6-6.5, 337), but recruiting hasn't yet hit its full stride for the talented line prospect. He updated us recently on things including what happened during his senior season of high school that prevented him from even thinking about playing college football…

"I got a bad liver infection and I lost a lot of weight," Nelson told "I thought I was going to die actually and the doctors are still in shock on my recovery, so I'm just glad to be playing again."

Nelson prepped at Buena High School and made the move to Ventura College pretty easily since it's in the same city. He started on both sides of the line as a freshman in 2008, but this year he believes he's headed for the right side.

"This spring I worked on the right and left side along with the only other returning tackle we have," Nelson said. "They want us to be versatile enough to play anywhere and I think I could do that. I could play inside or outside, but I prefer being out on the edge more so I'd say tackle is where I'd prefer to play."

Three weeks ago, Nelson was one of the top performers at the So Cal combine posting a 5.2 forty time, a 4.7 short shuttle and he was solid in the one-on-ones as well.

On the recruiting front, UCLA has been recruiting Nelson since his senior season and even helped place him there.

"They told me to do well and they would get my film and let me know," Nelson said. "I had a good freshman season, so hopefully more teams get interested."

Since Nelson was a full-qualifier out of high school, he can leave at any time, but he plans to play at Ventura this fall and then sign in December. He'll have three years to play two wherever he ends up.

We'll have more on Nelson in the coming weeks and months as he continues preparing for his sophomore season of football.

James Nelson Scout Profile

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