Nettles, a 5-foot-10, 171-pounder, played several positions and starred at Walton High School in DeFuniak Springs, Fla. Offensively he primarily played quarterback his junior and senior seasons, but he was named all-state as a running back his senior year, after rushing for more than 1,400 yards and 20 touchdowns.
Nettles rushed for more than 3,600 yards and 46 touchdowns in his career—and he said he runs the 40-yard dash in 4.4 seconds—but he received little recruiting interest until late in the process.
For a short while it looked like he would be signing with Florida State, but the Seminoles dropped his scholarship offer in the final week, leaving an opening for Wisconsin.
"They didn't have any more scholarships left," Nettles said of FSU. "They started recruiting me late."
Nettles still had scholarship offers from Southern Mississippi, Middle Tennessee State and Troy, in addition to Wisconsin, and he had taken an official visit to Middle Tennessee State. But Nettles was impressed when he took his official trip to Wisconsin. He verbally committed to the Badgers that weekend and signed his letter of intent just a few days later.
In addition to quarterback, Nettles played running back (his primary offensive position as a sophomore), wide receiver, cornerback, safety and linebacker while at Walton. Where might he end up at Wisconsin?
"Maybe offense, but I'm not sure," Nettles said. "Running back, but I'm not sure… Maybe wide receiver… I might be a corner."
Wherever he ends up, Wisconsin is hoping to take advantage of Nettles' speed and quickness. And in addition to his fast 40 time, Nettles reported a 250-pound bench press.
Nettles scored an 18 on his ACT. He hopes to major in sports medicine or a related field.
Badger Nation: What did you like in general about the Wisconsin program?
Josh Nettles: "I think I'll fit in pretty well. I met some of the players and they seem cool. They all wanted to meet me, just to say hey. I'm interested in the weight program, just cause… it seemed to me like it's a good weight program."
BN: What was your first impression of the University of Wisconsin?
JN: "I know they beat Auburn in the bowl game. I didn't get to watch it, but I knew about it."
BN: Favorite memory from your official visit?
JN: "The indoor practice facility. How they was doing all the workout things on the field… They were doing an offseason workout and I was like, ‘Whooo.'"
BN: What are you most proud of from your high school career?
JN: "All my rushing yards that gained throughout the years."
BN: Did you have a favorite college team growing up?
BN: Do you remember when you first picked up a football? Is there a story behind how you first started playing the game?
JN: "Organized football I picked it up when I was in eighth grade. I just went from there…
"When I was a little kid I always used to play. Me and my cousin and them all used to play football. Like when you are little you don't really even think about stuff. We played without pads on and played tackle football. You don't worry about getting hurt when you are little.
"After a couple years, I was like, ‘I want to play football.'
"The first two years in middle school I didn't play… I don't know they had a football team my sixth-grade year, otherwise I would have been on there. I just played basketball that year. But seventh grade I wanted to play and I never got my physical to play. And I was like, ‘OK, I'm definitely going out next year.' And eighth grade year I went out."
BN: What would you say are your goals for your college career?
JN: "Work hard. Hopefully get to play."
BN: Where would you like to be in 10 years?
JN: "I'm not sure… I definitely want to coach. I want to coach somewhere in 10 years. There or (playing in) the NFL. One or the other."
BN: Do you think you will redshirt your first year?
JN: "I might. It's a possibility."