Speed to burn

Jonathan Nelson, a cornerback from Arlington, Texas, boasts some impressive workout numbers and early scholarship offers

Jonathan Nelson was hoping to put his blistering speed on display at a Nike camp somewhere this spring, but that plan was put on hold when he injured his hamstring during Mansfield (Texas) Summit's track season.

"Unfortunately I probably won't be able to go to any Nike camps this year," Nelson said in a telephone interview Thursday night.

It is unfortunate because Nelson's self-reported workout standards are remarkable. He is already hearing from some of college football's most renowned programs, but a strong showing in a Nike camp would likely set flight to recruiting for the Arlington, Texas native.

Nelson, a 5-foot-11, 180-pound class of 2006 cornerback prospect, was hand-timed in the 40-yard dash three times last fall. The results? 4.28, 4.24 and 4.30 seconds. Prior to the hamstring injury this spring, Nelson ran the 100 meter dash in 10.53 seconds.

After starting at cornerback his sophomore and junior seasons, Nelson obliged the Jaguars' power lifting team and competed in that sport as well. Competing in either the 164-180 or the 181-198 weight class, Nelson posted 315 pounds on the bench press and 455 on the squat.

On the gridiron, Nelson had 40 tackles, one interception, seven pass breakups, three forced fumbles and four fumble recoveries last fall. In January, he said he recorded a 40-inch vertical leap at the U.S. Army combine in San Antonio.

Colleges throughout the nation are taking notice. LSU, Arizona State and Georgia Tech have offered Nelson a scholarship to play cornerback and Kansas has offered him as either a corner or as a wide receiver, Nelson said. Though he would prefer to play corner in college, Nelson hopes to start at both corner and receiver this fall.

He is also receiving interest from Miami (Fla.), Florida, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Iowa and Wisconsin, among others.

Nelson, who claims no favorites at this time, said he will either make his decision at the end of the summer or after his senior season — just not during the football season.

"It's great. It is just exciting to know that somebody is showing interest in me," Nelson said of his early scholarship offers. "Whenever it comes down to it I'll just like narrow my offers down and see who I want to go play football for."

Nelson's summer camp plans are up in the air. He expects his hamstring to be healthy by then and trips to LSU and Oklahoma are likely. He said he will probably also attend a camp at Texas and "maybe some others."

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