The 2017 Wisconsin Badgers will have several transfers that will play a major role this season. A couple are coming in with some previous college experience, and are expected to play some sort of role.
However, only one is coming to Madison with a ton of prior college experience and is expected to play a significant role right away and that is junior cornerback Nick Nelson.
The Hawaii transfer has already started 21 DI games and will be expected to jump right into a secondary that lost its starter in Sojourn Shelton.
Based on his sophomore season, one can see why expectations are high for the Forestville, Maryland native. He recorded 51 total tackles and an impressive 15 pass-breakups. That 15 was good enough for second in the Mountain West and eighth nationally, again, as only a sophomore. He was also a dynamic punt returner for the Rainbow Warriors. He averaged 7.2 yards per return which were third-best in the Mountain West. His sophomore campaign was good enough to be an all-conference honorable mention.
At 6’0″ and 200 pounds, he also has good size and strength to keep up with physical Big Ten receivers.
When looking at his tape, Nelson exudes tremendous confidence at a position in which it’s essential. He shows great ball skills and has a knack for maneuvering around receivers to achieve difficult breakups. He is also exciting when coming downhill. He is not afraid to put a big hit on a receiver or running back in the open field.
With the departure of Shelton, expect Nelson to jump right in and play a considerable role. He’s expected to push Derrick Tindal for the starting cornerback position. If not starting, he and Tindal will surely make up a formidable defensive backfield duo.
Overall, Nelson showed an immense amount of potential and a sizable amount of talent in his two seasons at Hawaii, and Badger fans should be excited to see him in Cardinal and White this season.