The most recent Villanova football recruiting class is an impressive one. 6-3, 255 pound, Jared Nelson could become a dominant defensive lineman as he develops. He has strong arms and is very athletic for his position. Nelson can beat you on the edge or go through you. He is very active and can bat down passes too. He was named all-conference three times and was first team All-State for Glastonbury (CT) High School.
Leader Johnson: How has this spring been getting used to the coaching staff and atmosphere?
Jared Nelson: I always love getting back on campus. This spring is extraordinary because there are new coaches. I enjoyed meeting the new coaches and I am looking forward to working with them in the summer. I believe they will continue the success at ‘Nova.
Leader Johnson: What made you choose Villanova?
Jared Nelson: Every time I stepped foot on campus I felt at home. From the coaches, the players, the staff, and students I felt welcomed and wanted. Another reason was that Villanova has a University feel. It is a beautiful school that has amazing academics and outstanding athletics. It is a well rounded university. I also knew that with a degree from Villanova, I could find a beneficial job after school.
Leader Johnson: What do you bring to this team and what are the strong points of your game?
Jared Nelson: I would say that I bring a strong, physical game. I am aware on the field and can help the defensive front. I am excited to join such a great defense to better myself, but also better the team as a whole.
Leader Johnson: How are Coaches Mark Ferrante and Joe Trainer?
Jared Nelson: With all of the coaching changes, people would assume that this season is off to a frantic start. That is the complete opposite of what is going on. Coach Ferrante is doing an amazing job easing into the head coaching position. Coach Trainer is no longer going to be the defensive line positional coach, however I am still looking forward to working with him. As the linebacker coach, we will be working together closely. Coach Pennypacker is the new defensive line coach and I am excited to work with him as I have met and stayed in touch with him. All of these coaches believe I will contribute greatly to the program. They believe in me and I am grateful that I have a chance to work with such humbling, successful coaches.
Leader Johnson: What part of your game do you feel needs improving?
Jared Nelson: I believe that coming from a public high school I used my size to my advantage way too often. In college, I won't be in the position to just power through opponents. This is an opportunity to really perfect my technique and hand work. I believe that needs the most improvement and I am ready to work hard to excel at the collegiate level.
Leader Johnson: Are you going to put on more weight? If you are, how much?
Jared Nelson: As soon as I report to Nova, the conditioning will make me lose fat weight. But I will also gain weight by lifting in the weight room. So I do plan on gaining weight, which is necessary. I would say a good weight would be around 250-265.
Leader Johnson: What has the coaching staff told you about your role and will you be able to get a lot of playing time this year?
Jared Nelson: Everything will be determined during camp. They told me they have to see me suited up, battling it out against the team before they make any decisions. I am looking forward to putting on the pads again.
Leader Johnson: Tell me about Glastonbury and what got you into football?
Jared Nelson: Glastonbury has strong football programs from youth all the way to varsity. It is well supported by its own community. Being the middle child of three boys, I was always a kid of contact. I decided to play football in the fourth grade and I have lived and loved it since.
Leader Johnson: Your mom and dad … what did you learn and obtain from them as a man?
Jared Nelson: I have learned many things from my parents. Faith, honesty, commitment and dedication are all values I have gained from living in my home. I am a practicing Roman Catholic, meaning I go to church every Sunday. Grades have always been a big deal in my house, my parents have done well enforcing that rule.
Leader Johnson: What impact will you bring to this team?
Jared Nelson: I hope to join the greatest defense in the FCS and keep it that way.
Leader Johnson: You have great skills at your position what pro player would you compare your skills to?
Jared Nelson: I honestly would not compare my skills to a pro player because I know I am not at that level yet, but if there were one player I would strive to be like it would be J.J. Watt. His ability to get off the ball, run around and explode through an offensive tackle is desirable. I also admire his passion for the game and his work ethic.
Leader Johnson: I hear this recruiting class is close. Who are you most close to and what current Wildcat have you learned from since you have been committed?
Jared Nelson: We are very close. We joke around all the time and I really couldn't pinpoint anyone in particular. I am looking forward to spending a lot of time with these guys. I was lucky enough to meet a lot of the current players on my official visit and on other visits. My host, Jeff Wiley (DE) showed me around and made me feel at home.
Leader Johnson: What do you feel this team will do this year ?
Jared Nelson: I think this team is going to have a strong season. We are losing some impactful players but are also returning some very important players as well. I believe our defense will be first overall in the FCS again and I know there won't be a lack of scoring on the offensive side.
Leader Johnson: Any guys on the line you have gotten close with and how is Defensive Line Coach Pennypacker?
Jared Nelson: I have gotten close with Lorenzo Hernandez and Malik Fisher, they are coming in as Defensive Linemen as well. I am confident that Coach Pennypacker is completely dialed into ‘Nova football and is ready to get his hands on us to make us better and fit us into this defense.
Leader Johnson: It was great talking to you …
Jared Nelson: Speaking on behalf of all of us, we are very excited for this upcoming year and years to come. We have big shoes to fill and we are eager to get into our new gear to prove we have what it takes.
Jared Nelson’s Senior Season Highlights: HERE
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