Cornerback Nick Nelson loved his two years playing for the University of Hawaii, but the former Forestville (MD) Suitland standout wanted to spend his remaining years playing closer to his parents and find a new home.
He’s found it Saturday at the University of Wisconsin.
“I loved it,” Nelson told BadgerNation. “There’s no other place I’d rather be. I loved everything about it. I like all the coaches. They are like family, and the players are real cool.”
On a visit with both of his parents, who Nelson said love the school as much as he does, the 6-0, 200-pound cornerback said all that’s standing between him and starting at Wisconsin is getting admitted to the school, a process he hopes to have completed in a couple weeks.
Recruited by defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox ever since he got his release from Hawaii, Nelson always had Wisconsin as his top choice.
“He was telling me I fit in perfectly to his defense,” said Nelson, who said he got big reactions from Wilcox and head coach Paul Chryst when he told them of his decision. “I’m excited about that. I’m locked and loaded on Wisconsin.”
Wisconsin has made it a point to rebuild its cornerback depth in recent years, as the Badgers listed only five cornerbacks on its spring roster.
After signing four prospects in 2016, the Badgers would like to sign multiple corners again in 2017. Adding Nelson is a big boost to that goal.
In two years at Hawaii, Nelson recorded 89 tackles and 21 passes defended. He also was comfortable on special teams, having returned 19 punts for the Warriors last season.
In Wisconsin’s 28-0 victory over Hawaii in a night game last September, Nelson recorded nine tackles.
“It was the best atmosphere I’ve ever played in,” Nelson said. “It was a lot better than Ohio State.”
Nelson will have to sit out this upcoming season per N.C.A.A. transfer rules. He’ll have two years of eligibility remaining and will look to fill senior Sojourn Shelton’s shoes in 2017.
“Sitting out will help me get a chance to learn everything about the school,” Nelson said. “It’ll help me learn a lot from the players, the older guys and work on my craft. I’m going to get a chance to go against the first-team offense, so that’s going to help me a lot. I’m really excited.”