With Northwestern's lofty academic standards and Coach Fitz's lofty personality standards, it is no rarity to talk to an NU recruit who is well-spoken and polite. But despite brains and cordiality being the norm, Victor Nelson, a four-star recruit from Park Ridge, Ill., stuck out for an 18-year-old.At 6-7 and 310 pounds, Nelson is ranked as the No. 18 offensive tackle in nation. He has offers from Illinois, Indiana, Boston College and Dartmouth. Yet though he lives just 45 minutes from Evanston, he doesn't currently own an offer from the Wildcats.
When asked why, he dropped a dose of perspective that you might not expect from a high school football star – even one being recruited by Northwestern."I don't know (why NU hasn't offered)," Nelson said. "They're just taking their time and that's perfectly fine. It's a large investment on their part so they are probably just reviewing everything."
The lack of an offer, though, doesn't mean that Nelson isn't in touch with Cat coaches."I'm talking with their coaches a lot and I've taken some trips up there. I've had a lot of contact," he said.
Nelson's grandfather went to law school at Northwestern and bred Nelson's father to be a huge Wildcat fans. By osmosis, Nelson has "definitely always kept an eye on" Northwestern. He admits that going to Northwestern would make his dad happy, but added that pa is more concerned about his son's happiness than his own."(My dad) basically told me that he wants me to be happy," Nelson said. "He's really cool about that."
Evidenced by the schools that have offered and some of the others recruiting him – Stanford and Vanderbilt, to name a few – Nelson takes care of business in the classroom. And of course when Purple Reign caught up with him, he was studying for the ACTs, which he'll be taking April 22. Not surprisingly, education is something that Nelson values."I would preferably go to a school with good academics," he said, "because without academics you cant really survive in this day and age."
It's hard to quantify exactly what's impressive about Nelson – well, besides his 6-7, 300-plus-pound frame. But whatever it is, this interviewer signed off by thanking him for taking the time chat and wishing him the best of luck on the ACTs. And guess what – Nelson was more than a little cordial."Thank you very much for thinking of me and for talking to me," he said, as though Purple Reign were doing him a favor.
You can bet that should NU come with an offer, there will be a chorus of thank you's. And with Northwestern's academic rep and Nelson's lifelong affinity for the Wildcats, an offer could be the first step toward him donning NU purple.
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