2014 DT Chris Nelson, Victory Christian Academy, Florida

2014 DT Chris Nelson (6’2, 275, 4.9/40) of Victory Christian Academy in Lakeland, FL claims a verbal offer from Virginia and told Deep South Recruiting that Tennessee is about to offer. Nelson says he hears regularly from Florida, Miami, Virginia, FIU, and LSU. “LSU sent me a letter and called my coach saying they want me to visit and come to one of their games. My interest level in LSU is very high.”

He spoke about his recent visit to Knoxville. “The coaches welcomed me like family when I visited. I went to their camp over the summer and got to to know the staff. After the camp, I got a tour of campus. I like their program and academics.”

Nelson has already gotten the chance to see the Cavaliers up close. “Virginia’s already offered, and I really like the coaches there. I think we’ve connected.”

The Miami Hurricanes are recruiting Nelson. “I have an interest in the Hurricanes. There’s a possibility I could go there,” he said. “I went to an Al Golden Camp last year, and as soon as I got there, they made me compete against the seniors.”

Nelson grew up a fan of the Florida Gators. “I love the Gators. I’ve been a fan since I was little,” he said. “I have a lot of family that live in Gainesville. I camped there last season and I got to know the staff and they showed me around.”

He gave Deep South Recruiting his current Top 5. “Right now, my Top 5 would be Florida, Tennessee, Virginia, Miami, and LSU.”

During summer strength testing, Nelson benched an eye-popping 400 pounds, squatted 405 pounds, and power cleaned 315 pounds. He expects to see time this fall at defensive tackle and end, nose guard, linebacker, fullback, tight end, and running back. In addition to his gridiron exploits, he averaged 12 points, 20 rebounds, and five assists per game on the basketball court last season.

In 2011, Nelson racked up 150 tackles and 10 sacks in 12 games. “My best friend, Demeitre Brim, had broken his jaw last season and I had to carry my team, fill the void he left,” he said. “I had to play a little of every position last year. I feel like if I can concentrate on one position, I could be a maniac.”

Nelson is also an outstanding student and excels in the classroom. “I have 3.7 GPA and I would like to major in business. Academics will be very important in my process because I don’t know how long football is going to last.”

He said that school location will not factor into his decision making process. “Location doesn’t matter to me at all. As long as I feel a school has a good football program and solid academics, I’ll attend there. It might be easier on my family to stay closer to home, but they’ll support me and make it work for them.”

Nelson said that the relationships he builds with a coaching staff during his recruitment will be factored into his decision the most. “That’s the number one thing for me. I’m interested in how a staff treat their players. Once you get to college, there are no more stars, you should have to earn your spot.”

– Michael Bradley

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