January 21, 2013

Nelson meets new TE coach

At 6-foot-8 and 240 pounds, Matt Nelson will likely have options when it comes to choosing a college where he will continue his athletic career. One of the questions that Nelson will have to figure out in the next year is not only what college, but which sport he will play. The Cedar Rapids Xavier prep is a standout in both football and basketball and will likely have offers in both sports.

On Sunday he spent the day in Iowa City visiting with the Hawkeye Football coaches as part of their annual Junior Day.

"It was a lot of fun spending time with the Iowa coaches and getting to know more about their program," Nelson said.

While some might picture a prospect with Nelson's size as an offensive line prospect, the Hawkeyes seem to be pointing him towards the tight end position at this point in the process. Nelson spent a little time with Iowa assistant Reese Morgan, who recruits the state of Iowa, but the majority of his time was spent with new tight ends coach D.J. Hernandez.

While Iowa hasn't confirmed that Hernandez, who is the older brother of Aaron Hernandez of the New England Patriots, has been hired for the position, he is already on campus as a graduate assistant who will coach the tight ends for the Hawkeyes.

"I spent time with Coach Hernandez, who ran the tight end position meeting. He was really impressive. It was obvious that he knows a lot about the position and he has a lot of energy and passion."

Nelson said Iowa hasn't mentioned moving to the offensive line at this point. They have talked about playing defensive end, which is the other position he plays for Xavier. Nelson had 47 tackles this past year, including 11 sacks and 19 total tackles for loss. At the tight end position, he had 14 receptions for 162 yards and 8 touchdowns.

He has yet to pick up a football offer, but in addition to hearing from Iowa, he is being recruited by Iowa State, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Oregon, and Kansas State.

Nelson is also a standout basketball player in the Class of 2014, currently averaging 14 points a game for Xavier. He currently holds offers from Rice, Northern Colorado, and South Dakota State. He is also receiving interest from Iowa, Wisconsin, and North Dakota.

At this point, Nelson says he doesn't have a preference when it comes to what sport he will play in college.

"It's still really early in the process. I'm only a junior, so I have a lot of time. I'm going to go to some football camps, including Iowa's, this summer and I'll be playing AAU basketball with the Barnstormers again this summer."

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