Big Life, Big Stage, Big Nelson

With multiple family members attending multiple Big Ten schools, Maine South (Ill.) lineman Victor Nelson knows what the Big Ten has to offer him.

Victor Nelson is used to his mom shedding a tear for no specific reason.

"She does it a lot for whatever reason," he joked.

So you can only imagine what Mrs. Nelson was like after her son got his first scholarship offer from Illinois in December, one of many schools that have started paying close attention to the Maine South (Ill.) lineman.

"It's a great feeling," Nelson told Badger Nation. "I know around my house was pretty hectic. My mom was crying for joy. I was flabbergasted when I got it. It was a big thing for us. I just didn't expect. It was great to see the hard work pay off."

Invited to but not attending the U.S. Army Junior Combine in San Antonio, Nelson has received offers from Boston College, Dartmouth, Illinois and Indiana along with interest from Northwestern and Wisconsin.

"My father went to Illinois, my mom went to Purdue, I have relatives that went to Indiana and a grandfather that went to Northwestern," said Nelson, a 6-foot-7, 310-pound, four-star offensive tackle that's ranked 17th in the country by "We have a Big Ten family. I am thinking I would like to stay in the Big Ten. I hope to get more offers from Big Ten schools."

Originally being recruited by Randall McCray, Nelson took an important junior day visit to Wisconsin to see the facilities and meet Secondary Coach Chris Ash, who is his new recruiting contact.

"It was nice because I got to talk a lot of coaches. It was a real fun experience. Me and my father went and it was good to see what interested me. I got to watch some of the practices and it's definitely a faster pace, which I like. Speaking the coaches was helpful and sitting down with the players was a really interesting aspect. We'll have to see how it goes."

Nelson also got to take part in the Q&A with some of the players to get a better idea about what the university has to offer.

"We asked a lot of good questions," Nelson said. "One of them was how the freshmen integrate into the program, if they had a buddy or a mentor or if they bond solely with their class. One of the seniors said the older people in the position take the young guys under their wing, show them how to compete, how to get around and basically become a mentor."

Nelson has no favorites but plans on narrowing his focus during a summer filled with unofficial visits and camps.

"All I know is that I want to play college football."

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