Jerrion Nelson easily saw himself fitting in at Iowa when he attended a practice on Saturday. What he watched was real familiar.
"They run the same defense as I do here at Battle (High in Columbia, MO). So, the stuff they were doing is the same stuff I’m doing here so it wouldn’t be hard to pick up on. They’re just bigger and stronger and faster than we are in high school so that would be the big adjustment if I went to Iowa," he said.
Iowa offered the 6-foot-2, 260-pound Nelson last month as a defensive end. He played all over the field at Battle.
"That was my first time in Iowa City and I loved it. The facilities were nice. The coaches were cool. All of the players looked like they loved being at Iowa. It was a good atmosphere," he said.
Nelson also reports scholarship offers from Ball State, Western Illinois and Missouri State. He said he’s hearing a lot from Kansas State.
"Recruiting is going kind of slow right now. I think a lot of schools are just waiting on my ACT scores to make sure I’m eligible and make sure I have all my classes," he said.
Nelson is scheduled to take the ACT twice in April.
Rivals.com rates Nelson as a three-star prospect and the No. 10 player in Missouri for the 2016 Class. He’s not yet ranked by Scout.com or 247.com.
Nelson offers excellent athleticism and versatility. Linebacker, defensive end, tight end, wide receiver and fullback all can be listed on his prep resume.
Last fall, midway through the season, Battle Coach Justin Conyers inserted Nelson as a quarterback in the Wildcat formation. He raced 52 yards for a touchdown on his first carry. He averaged more than 10 yards per rush to go with his eight and a half sacks and 19 tackles for loss on defense.
"(The Hawkeye coaches) were saying that at my size they haven’t seen too many people that can run like me or move like me. They said they need some guys like me to help their defense," he said.
Assistant Jim Reid is leading Iowa’s recruitment of Nelson.
"He’s a pretty cool guy," Nelson said.
Nelson, who is undecided on a college major, felt good about what he was exposed to on Saturday.
"I rode around campus and saw where they take classes. We talked to the coaches about the academics and support. That was nice," he said.
Nelson said he is taking his time with the recruiting process and focusing on academics. He plans to visit Iowa again in the summer and will get out to Western Illinois, Ball State and Missouri State in the near future.