March 4, 2009

Nelson gets CSU offer

Tucson (AZ) Sabino High School athlete Keanu Nelson received his first scholarship offer last month when Colorado State pulled the trigger, offering a spot on their football team to the 5-foot-11, 160-pound offensive weapon.

The Rams are currently one of six schools from the Mountain West and Pac 10 who are talking to Nelson, including Arizona, Brigham Young, Oregon and UCLA. While the question of where he will play football is up in the air, another equally important question will also have to be answered - what position?

"He is a dynamic, multi-purpose athlete," says Nelson's coach Jay Campos. "On offense, we put him in the tailback position, the slot and at split end. He is very fast, also a track kid and plays corner as well. He is very dynamic offensively, but also a shut-down corner. I think he can play either side of the ball in college, it just depends on what the school that is recruiting him needs."

Nelson was named the high school athlete of the week this season by the local NBC affiliate in Tucson after running just five times for 117 yards in a 49-0 win over Desert View. Nelson also forced a fumble on the second play of the game and scored twice.

"I think I work to make defenders miss and I enjoy doing it," Nelson said. "As far as defense is concerned, I am more of a pass defender or a cover corner.

"I just want to get on the field," Nelson added when asked where he wanted to play in college. "If I had to pick a position, I would say offensive. I may be a little undersized to be a collegiate back, but I could line up in the slot."

Campos said his size has never been an issue for Nelson who started his sophomore year around 135 pounds before getting up to 155 pounds this year during football. Now, Campos said he is nearing 165 pounds

"He is starting to pack on the pounds, but isn't losing any speed," Campos said.

Colorado State has been recruiting Nelson through quarterbacks coach Daren Wilkinson and Nelson said a recruiting video he saw has gotten him to give the Rams a second look.

"So far Coach Wilkinson has talked to me about the school and I saw a highlight video of their defense. They have tenacity on defense. Coach Wilkinson also told me the coaches weren't sure which side of the ball they want me to play, which is something I have been used to my whole life."

Nelson, who is planning on majoring in Pre-Law, said he tried to get to Fort Collins for Junior Day as well, but wasn't able to get his schedule put together in time to attend. He said he will considering Colorado State when he starts to take college visits this school year.

Arizona may hold an advantage in securing Nelson's services, as it is the hometown school, as well as the employer of his father, who works is the director of the school's Department of Pathology. Nelson's family has also been season ticket holders for Wildcat football in the past.

"U of A does," Nelson said when asked if the Wildcats have an advantage in his recruitment. "I recently attended their Junior Day. I got to meet all the coaches when I was down here including Coach Stoops and Coach Hammerschmidt. One of the things I like about U of A is the atmosphere. The atmosphere in the students section when they play ASU is like it is a different country or something. Their facilities are pretty cool too."

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