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Nelson graduating early to start his Husker career

Senior Garrett Nelson, pushes through the Gering line up. Although Nelson plays on offense, he is recruited as a defensive end for UNL.

Senior Garrett Nelson, pushes through the Gering line up. Although Nelson plays on offense, he is recruited as a defensive end for UNL.

Senior Garrett Nelson, pushes through the Gering line up. Although Nelson plays on offense, he is recruited as a defensive end for UNL.

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Senior Garrett Nelson is a hard guy to miss.


At 6’3” tall and weighing 235 pounds, he has a physical presence in the school that is inescapable.


Former Nebraska Football Coach Mike Riley also found him hard to ignore. So much so, in fact, that he offered Nelson a full scholarship to the University of Nebraska – Lincoln, making him the first SHS grad to be offered a full ride to UNL in nearly 30 years.


Nelson was recruited his junior year to  play D1 football on a full ride. His mom and dad went to UNL (where they first met) as well as his older brother who is currently attending.


Nelson committed to UN-L June 24th, because he committed so early to there was not much time for other school to look into him. He knew that if the opportunity arose he wanted to be a Husker.


Nelson tries to attend every home game and has even participated in team meetings.


“Coach Frost was in a team meeting and he said ‘repeat after me’ and he said ‘PRESSURE’ and so everyone said pressure and he says “What I feel when I do not know what I’m doing but I know what I’m doing” Everybody repeated and he said it three or four more times and it really gave me confidence.” said Nelson.


“The only fears or pressures I really have is not meeting my expectations when I go down there. I have really high goals for myself and that’s the only thing that I’m afraid of is not pushing myself to get those and I know I will because that is just the person I am.” Nelson said.


He has been playing football since he was five (flag football) and even dabbled in wrestling. He brought home the first place trophy in Class B, from the state wrestling tournament during his junior year with a season record of 34-4, following in his dad’s footsteps.


He knew that he wanted to be a division one athlete but he did not think that he was big or strong enough so he thought that his ticket to being a D1 athlete was wrestling.


Nelson plans to graduate high school at semester in order to get down to Lincoln and have his feet on the ground before his first season as a Husker. He plans to be at UNL all four years and major in business administration. He has hopes to own his own business one day. Had Nelson not gotten recruited, his plan was to go into the military or attend college as a regular student.


“His college education is the number one priority to me. Whether he wants to continue in the next level of football after college or not it’s his decision. I want him to contribute to society and be successful and happy.” Garrett’s mother, Holli, said.Mrs. Nelson gets to see a side of Garrett that the coaches don’t.” He’s very level headed, humble, kind, and a good student.  Until it comes to competing then he goes into game face mode.”


Despite the Huskers losing record this year Nelson is still optimistic about their future.


. “There’s nothing I feel bad about. Even with the situation that they’re in when they’re 0-4 I see the potential and I see the massive amount of improvement and the hard work that they put in and I don’t feel bad or worried about it in any way,” Nelson said.


Not only has Nelson had to deal with switching from his high school coach to a college coach but from Mike Riley to Scott Frost. UNL still honored the scholarship and Nelson is now working with the Huskers linebacker coach Barrett Ruud.


“I love coach Benson; he has helped me so much with my personal development, I couldn’t ask for a better coach in my high school career, wish I could bring him to college with me. I was not concerned about the change of coaches I just wanted to know what the process was and if there was anything I could do,” Nelson said.


In order to prepare for his first season as a Husker Nelson has been training with Isaac Holscher and working diligently to achieve his goals.


“He is an extremely hard worker, very strong, instinctive and he wants to excel. Garrett is very energetic, a happy go lucky kid yet he is very purpose driven. He understands the concepts of football a lot better than he did as a sophomore and what to look for” Coach Benson said.


Football is an intense and grueling sport and yet Nelson has always loved it.


“How can you not like football? It’s the only way you can run outside on a field and hit someone really hard and not go to jail.” Nelson said.

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Nelson graduating early to start his Husker career