CEDAR RAPIDS – Matt Nelson spent spring break recently in Sarasota, Fla., soaking up the sun and making a final decision about his future.
It’ll officially be college football the Cedar Rapids Xavier junior will pursue, not college basketball.
“About the last week or so, I made the decision,” Nelson said. “Spring break gave me time to think about it.”
It’s a luxury to have Division I offers in multiple sports, but it also provides a headache. The 6-foot-8 Nelson first received hoops offers last year (from schools like Rice and North Dakota) but exploded onto the football recruiting scene over the winter as his highlight video from the 2012 Xavier season began to be dispersed.
Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz and Iowa State coach Paul Rhoads showed up at Xavier the same day to talk with Nelson. Both of those schools have now officially offered scholarships, as have San Diego State, Stanford, Nebraska and Yale.
Nelson said he has a visit set up to Notre Dame in a couple of weeks, though he doesn’t know if the Fighting Irish will offer him then. He said San Diego State and Nebraska are recruiting him as a tight end, Stanford as an outside linebacker in a 3-4 defense and the others as an “athlete,” with an ultimate position to be determined.
“I don’t care where,” he said. “I just want to play.”
He said he would like to commit to a school by the time Xavier’s season rolls around in late August, though he doesn’t think that’ll happen because he wants to take full advantage of his official visits. He won’t project a leader in his recruitment at this point, but said he comes from “an Iowa State household.”
And he’ll still play basketball one more season at Xavier, he promised.
“It’s exciting to have so many options, but it’s also stressful,” he said. “All in all, it’s been fun so far, though. I’m having a blast.”