Anthony Nelson finds himself in a similar position to where fellow in-state athlete Matt Nelson was at this time a year ago. Anthony can hope his outcome proves as successful as his namesake.
Matt Nelson sat without a football scholarship offer last January and thought he might end up playing basketball in college. By the end of the summer, the Cedar Rapids Xavier athlete was choosing between Iowa, Notre Dame and Stanford gridiron opportunities.
Iowa won out for Matt Nelson, who is expected to sign a national letter of intent for football next month. He emerged as a defensive lineman relatively late in the recruiting process.
Anthony Nelson is flying under the prospect radar much like Matt did. The Waukee (Iowa) junior reports interest from Drake and Nebraska-Omaha for basketball and Iowa, Iowa State and North Texas for football.
Anthony Nelson is a slim 6-foot-7, 215 pounds, the same height as is Matt Nelson. Nelson also saw mid-major interest in basketball.
"I'm looking at both sports right now," Anthony Nelson said. "Right now, I'm not sure what sport I'll play. I like them both a lot. It might just come down to what college I like best."
Anthony Nelson attended Iowa's junior day on Saturday. He'd been to the school for a few games but this was his first extended look at things.
"It was just nice to get up to campus," he said. "I liked the campus. I liked the facilities and the coaching staff. Just seeing what it all was like was a good thing."
The Iowa coaches supplied Nelson with encouraging feedback.
"They said they liked what they saw on film and to keep working hard and having fun playing in high school; enjoy the experience," Nelson said.
Nelson sat in on a defensive line meeting with assistant Reese Morgan.
"I learned that they have a lot of good schemes and they execute really well," Nelson said. "They're really athletic guys for being big. It's a lot of work playing Division I football but you just have to pursue it and it's worth it in the end."
Nelson, who is considering a major in business or engineering, said Iowa State has been sending him mail and he's talked to coaches there a few times. He said he didn't plan to attend their upcoming junior day.
"I guess I'd say it's more of a casual approach (to recruiting)," Nelson said. "I'm just looking for a good opportunity to go and be successful at a good college and get a good degree. I want to do it doing something I enjoy."
Matt Nelson emerged from under the radar last year as a lanky in-state basketball player turned defensive end. Waukee's Anthony Nelson (no relation) appears to be following the same path.