Keanu Nelson impresssed with USC and UCLA

Keanu Nelson from Sabino High in Tucson had originally planned to visit USC and UCLA on July 22, but was unable to travel to Los Angeles on that date because of a scheduling conflict. But Keanu, his father, stepmother and his sister took an unofficial visit to USC and UCLA on Monday.

The visit to each school was his first and it USC was the first school he visited at 10 a.m. One negative about visiting USC on Monday was all of the coaches were on vacation, except Coach Kris Richard. So, Nelson didn't have an opportunity to meet with Coach Pete Carroll, Coach Rocky Seto or Coach Jethro Franklin, who recruits Arizona for the Trojans.

"When I got there, Coach Carroll wasn't there, Coach Franklin wasn't there and Coach Seto wasn't there, but Coach Richard was my guide and we went around in a cart and toured the campus," said the No. 5 ranked player from Arizona. "It was great seeing the facilities, meeting with the academic advisors and seeing what it's like at USC. One of the first things they did, which I really liked, was Coach Richard laid out the rules and the coaching philosophies, which I thought were great. They made perfect sense and I liked what they are doing. And he was definitely a great player."

"He was talking about an official visit and I think that's going to happen," said Nelson. "He said a scholarship offer may happen, but Coach Carroll wasn't there and he's the main man in charge of offering scholarships. So, I'm going to have to wait until he gets back and see what happens, but I definitely want to stay in touch with USC and I'm very pleased I made the trip and liked what I saw."

The welcoming committee was vastly different at UCLA.

"Things were great over at UCLA," said Nelson about his visit to UCLA. "I've never been on a campus anything close to like that before. I had heard about it, but it's another thing when you're actually there. The facilities were great and the campus was beautiful and the weather was really nice. Coach (Rick) Neuheisel actually gave me the tour of UCLA himself. There were a couple of other coaches, too, and they showed me around campus and showed me some things I didn't know about. It was a great little tour we had.

While Nelson was impressed with what he experienced at USC and UCLA, something he saw really stood out to him.

One thing I didn't mention about USC and I want to mention about UCLA, is I went into the weight rooms at both schools and there were players working out," Nelson said. "They didn't show me an empty weight room and facilities not being used. As a matter of fact, we met with and talked to Taylor Mays and he was going to be in there for another 30 minutes just doing extra work. It is really an impressive worth ethic. I met with the strength coach (Chris Carlisle) and the philosophies he put on the table, as far as what USC likes to do in the weight room, was something I had never heard before, but it works. Like I said, I saw the weight room and people working hard. And they were also getting fired up at UCLA, but doing different stuff."

Nelson was asked how much it meant to be given a tour of UCLA by its head football coach?

"It wasn't just Coach Neuheisel, it was about eight other coaches," Nelson said. "But I understand it was tough on the USC coaches to visit on such short notice and I know they are on vacation. It was nice getting a little more love from UCLA, but that's just the way things go. It helped a little bit, but not that much."

Now that Nelson has made his final visit this summer, his focus is no longer on recruiting, but getting back to preparing for the 2009 season and becoming a better cornerback.

"We start up when I get back to Tucson," said Nelson when asked when Sabino begins fall camp. "I get back Wednesday night and we head up to the mountains on Thursday in northern Arizona. We'll get away from any distractions and get out of the heat."

We'll continue to cover Keanu Nelson throughout the recruiting process. Top Stories