Slot receiver/running back/returner Charles Nelson gave his verbal commitment to Oregon coaches over the weekend, confirmed in interviews with the Oregonian, Daytona Beach News-Journal and several recruiting websites.
His pledge makes 17 commitments for the Ducks, after Budda Baker backed out of a UO scholarship offer just 10 days ago.
Nelson is equally fast and shifty, dynamic with the ball in his hands. Coming off an ACL injury suffered in October of his junior year, he reeled off a 4.39 40-yard dash at a camp at the University of Florida, had 50 catches for 766 yards and nine touchdowns and averaged 48 yards a kick return as a senior, with four interceptions on defense. He quickly picked up scholarship bids from 18 schools, including Notre Dame, the Gators, Miami, West Virginia, Michigan State and USC. During a weekend visit to Eugene, he told receivers coach Matt Lubick and head coach Mark Helfrich he wanted to become a Duck.
Unlike Baker, Nelson loved it in Eugene. He told Brian Linder of the News-Journal, “When I got up there it wasn’t like I thought it would be. It was better. I loved it. I got up there, saw the town, and it reminded me of Daytona or Ormond Beach. It wasn’t huge. I fell in love with it then.”
Nelson also expressed excitement about a potential role in the fast-paced, explosive Oregon spread offense, which is similar to the attack he played in as a Florida 6A All-State player for the Seabreeze Sandcrabs. Lubick showed him a video with cutups of his highlights from last year interpersed with plays the Ducks ran for De'Anthony Thomas.
“They broke down my highlight tape, and put my plays up against plays that they ran and they were the exact same plays,” Nelson said to Linder. “They call them different things, but they are the same plays. Once I learn the signals and everything, I am in there.”
As a sophomore ran a 10.58 100, a 21.88 200 meters, sailed 24-1 in the long jump and hop, skipped and flew 45-2 in the triple jump. His senior football highlight video can be found HERE.
In addition to his track and football exploits, Hudl reports the blur-fast triple threat has a 37" vertical jump, squats 405 and benches 300, as much pound-for-pound athletic ability as any incoming freshman the Ducks have ever had. Compare him to Thomas, Baker or a Duck legend like Cristin McLemore, but Nelson might be a harder worker and more serious about his development.
On film, what jumps out are soft, natural hands receiving the ball, the ability to go over the middle on slant and in routes and come down with the football in traffic. He has great timing and body control, very dangerous in the screen game, hard to stay with on deep routes, accelerating quickly once he gets the ball. In addition to outstanding straight line speed, he cuts at full speed and runs precise. disciplined routes. sets up blocks extremely well and runs with great vision.
As a college player he'll have to break himself of the long zig-zags and risky reverses of field, because the pursuit is so much faster, but that's something he'll learn in practice. He's dynamic, a good student with great instincts, courage and talent. Coming back from an ACL injury and playing the way he has, fans have to know that this is a player with rare determination and heart. The way he hits on defense just confirms it.
Last spring as Charles was completing rehab, his high school coach Marc Beach told Linder, “He is a great character kid, makes good grades and stays out of the dean's office. When we get him back, we are going to be in pretty good shape.”
They don't wear the Mighty-Fighting-Duck midriff-baring jerseys anymore, and the era and the offense are vastly different, but as a fast, shifty receiver with great hands, Florida prospect Charles Nelson reminds me a little of McLemore.
this is off the track of this article But,,,,, I really love those older jerseys they used ,,,, reminds me of fall football and cold blowing rainy games at autzen lol
My how things have changed ,, even the look of the stadium is a pleasant sight,,, also Mclemore looked pretty damn fast to me especiallly on the one against ASU
Absolutely horrible comparison between Cristin Mclemore and Nelson. Cristin was not a speed WR and ran 4.5 high 4.48. Cristin was probably the best WR & route runner in Oregon history. Nelson is a close image to DAT and Budda Baker. There's a reason why Oregon's coaches compared DAT's film to Nelson, same (speed, agility, and intangibles) Cristin was a QB in high school and incorporated that knowledge into his receiver game. You bloggers crack me up with information of your opinion without any credibility. Just write the story of Oregon getting a great player to replace Budda Baker and DAT. Please don't devalue your story comparing a legend to a person who hasn't even step on Autzen field yet. Nelson doesn't even have one highlight like the one you put up on Cristin...SMDH!!!
Hey what matters is he loves EUEGENE, to which I don't bye into the fact of Baker because he wanted to be a Duck throughout and believe it was more someone getting in his ear when they weren't supposed to be, you know the quiet Period and don't tell me they don't do it because they CHEAT at so much else, and The Negative recruiting against the Ducks to me is just wasted speech by Coach's that are hard up for players they couldn't get on their own and they offer them the SKY and some of these kids are DUMB enough to believe it, and to me Baker fits that mold, can't make his own decision. I believe this kid is better than Baker and his film doesn't lie, but the Ducks would be wise to start using these guys in motion or strickly in the slot and don't use him at RB, because were loaded there with Tyner and The Locamotive coming in the spring. Ducks need to get back to Dominating the LOS and running between the Tackles.
May not be as polished as Baker, but he's faster, overjoyed to be a Duck, and a great fit in DAT's open spot. He was a 4 star as a junior before the ACL tear. His 3 star is too low, esp. when you look at the schools that were after him. Lucky for the Ducks. Now where are those DTs?
Welcome aboard Mr.Nelson. 5"9", 170 pounds, we be liking you a lot more than Budda Baker. Wide receiver, defensive back, kick returner, running back. How will the Ducks use this young man? Should be fun to watch.
Great stuff Dale. I came by this morning to post a link to the NJ article, but I see I'm too late.
Nelson makes a great addition to this class.
@MarkGilbert1 Off the track is totally acceptable. Everything we write here is intended to spark memories and conversation, two of the best parts of the fan experience.
I like the old fighting duck jerseys also, which we'll never see in any rendition because they're an Adidas design, but it's a great clip anyway.
Former Duck Danny O'Neil said he didn't like throwbacks, though I've never heard him say why.
The first comment out of the color analyst is how fast McLemore is, and that's all relative. Both the young player and the legend are leaving a lot of tacklers in their wake. I believe both will be fondly remembered, which is the point of the whole thing.
@dgriffin5You're welcome to visit and express your opinion, but don't tell me what to write. Comparisons are made to give a context as to what a given player can aspire to, give readers an analogy for what a given player can be or what his style of play is. Nelson hasn't played a down, hasn't been in an Oregon uniform as yet. None of the recruits have. I compared him to McLemore because Cristin is one of my all-time favorite players, an Oregon legend, and Nelson has some similar attributes and strengths. I wanted to discuss how good he can be, and why not challenge him with the best?
Nelson is faster? That's good. He also runs precise routes, like McLemore did, shifty and hard to tackle. The Baker/Thomas comparison you favor is also discussed prominently in the article. Since he's going to play slot receiver, why not challenge him with the best? Baker didn't want to play here, and Thomas had an uneven career as a receiver, never fully or consistently utilized. Though explosive, his route running skills were suspect.
If you visit again, can the personal remarks. We've established this is a blog and I am a blogger. For four years I've given opinions on Duck football. In July of 2011 I said Marcus Mariota was going to be a great player. I also thought Devon Blackmon and Tacoi Sumler would be good college players, and I was completely wrong about them. In August of this season I wrote that Byron Marshall would do a capable job as lead running back.
I view highlight video, research players and write stories. If you don't like them or my writing style, you're welcome to take your commenting talents to another website, or visit goducks.com for the official story. Duck Stops Here had a half a million pageviews in 2013, A lot of people like it, and we'll double that this year.
@DougMaiThe Locomotive...I like that.
@GaryMcAuleyGood point Gary. Similar to Baker in skill set but the difference is he wants to be here. May be stronger and faster, and a better receiver.
@rgyleKeep the faith on DTs. Based on his offer list and final five, this a coup for the Ducks. He tripped to USC and Notre Dame.
@SonomaDuckNelson told his local paper they want him at slot receiver, similar to Thomas and fellow newcomer Tony James, who is more running back/slot receiver.
@SonomaDuck Absolutely right about the potential Nelson has. A versatile athlete like him is rare, throw in the hands he has, and he is a special player, indeed.
@Raygun383Fills that slot left vacant by Baker. Key now is to close strong with maybe McGraw, Oliver and a couple of big guys. It's being reported today that Arik Armstead is giving up basketball to concentrate on football.
@Dale Newton @MarkGilbert1 I do agree with you as well,,, as far as this Nelson kid,, I love him and the fact he is and can do so many things,, I think we got a steal and personally like to have a kid that wants to play and attend UofO . I think he is the perfect fit for this offense,, with James as well,, gonna be some offense going on this next year for Oregon.
@Dale Newton @dgriffin5 First I never told you what you can and cannot write. I simply said the comparisons are horrible and Cristin himself would say the same (and he did on his facebook). I talked about devaluing your story which was a good one until you used a horrible comparison of the two. There is NOTHING that compares the two. Nelson runs okay routes, the first thing he says he has to work on is his routes. He's truly known for his athletic ability and the numerous intangibles he brings to the table. I was giving you credit on the comparisons of DAT and Baker, because those are correct comparisons. If i'm welcome to give and express my opinion why are you defending yourself when I'm telling the truth? It was obvious when you apologize to Cristin on his Facebook for the comparison. Don't make your blog public if your can't take constructive criticism. If you're truly just giving your opinion why do you have to defend yourself and tell me how many people have viewed your page and how you'll double it.? I understand Cristin was your favorite WR, that's great, that's what makes you a fan.
@Ducko30 @SonomaDuck If Tony James shows up as well, I kind of see him and Charles Nelson as Budda Baker x four. Don't ask me how I got there. I am not bothered by losing Baker but did not appreciate the way he slammed Eugene and the University. Is this the work of Chris Peterson? Sorry,, not intending to hijack the thread.
But with Arik's frame, I can easily see him at a beastly 300-315, and tossing O-Linemen out of his way.
After watching Nelson's film, I believe he has more upside than Budda. For as good as Budda is, I believe Charles' speed and cutting ability make him more suitable for the slot position in our system. I hope he gets some time with Coach Cam to work on his YAC too, as I can see him filling the DAT role almost seamlessly, once he knows the system.