Herald: UMass Right For Nelson - UMass Athletics

Herald: UMass Right For Nelson

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It was early December 2009 and the cold winds felt sharper to Anthony Nelson after learning Hofstra announced it was disbanding its football program.

Nelson, a junior receiver for The Pride, began sending out game tapes to other schools. In the meantime, Hofstra offensive line coach Bill Durkin, a former UMass star, was telling Nelson about the unique opportunity UMass could offer. Following a visit with his parents to the Amherst campus a few days later, Nelson had found a new home.

Check out the story in the Boston Herald.

UMass right for Anthony Nelson
By John Connolly  |   Friday, October 1, 2010  |  http://www.bostonherald.com  |  College Football
Photo
Photo by AP file

It was early December 2009 and the cold winds felt sharper to Anthony Nelson after learning Hofstra announced it was disbanding its football program.

Nelson, a junior receiver for The Pride, began sending out game tapes to other schools. In the meantime, Hofstra offensive line coach Bill Durkin, a former UMass star, was telling Nelson about the unique opportunity UMass could offer. Following a visit with his parents to the Amherst campus a few days later, Nelson had found a new home.

"It's been awesome. I can't tell you how much I've enjoyed my time here," the 21-year-old Nelson said this week. "The first weekend I was here, I got a Saturday morning call from Kyle Haven who said they had a 7-on-7 practice going. They were trying to teach me the offense right from that weekend. It's been pretty consistent from then on out. I saw how serious they were and how much they made me feel comfortable."

Nelson, a 5-foot-10 native of Willington, Fla., caught 119 passes for 1,382 yards and six touchdowns while at Hofstra and hasn't missed a beat at UMass. Heading into tomorrow's game at Towson , Nelson leads the eighth-ranked Minutemen in receptions (25) and receiving yards (337).

"He brings exactly what we thought we'd get," UMass coach Kevin Morris said. "He's a senior who has been in college and in the league and has been successful on the field and in the classroom. . . . He's been a playmaker for us and just a great kid."

Morris believes Nelson has the ability to play at the NFL level.

"He's picked up the system well. Usually, that's an issue with a new player but he's very sharp in the way he's picked it up," Morris said. "The nice thing is he definitely can beat you deep and he's also very good with underneath screens. He can catch and run with ball. He's shifty and quick. We also hand the ball off to him at times, so he's really a triple threat who can impact the game in all those areas."

Nelson said the most fun comes when he has the football in his hands.

"I'm probably real good after the catch," he said. "I like running the short routes, the slants, and the reverses. That's my favorite part of football."

Article URL: http://www.bostonherald.com/sports/college/football/view.bg?articleid=1285669

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