Oregon received a surprise verbal commitment today when speedy Daytona Beach athlete Charles Nelson pledged to play for the Ducks. Nelson visited over the weekend, along with Defensive Tackle Trey Lealaimatafao and Safety Khalil Oliver. Of the three Nelson seemed like the long shot, as Oregon got involved with him late in the recruiting process and there had been little suggesting the Ducks were a serious threat. That all changed when Nelson got on campus and fell in love with Eugene:
"When I got up there it wasn't like I thought it would be," Nelson said of visiting the school located in Eugene. "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 is a three star rated player according to all the recruiting services but boasts an offer list that belies his star-rating. In addition to Oregon, Nelson had offers from Florida, Notre Dame, USC, Wisconsin, Miami, Michigan State, and West Virginia, among others.
As a senior, Nelson had 37 catches for 512 yards and seven touchdowns. He was also a threat on kick returns and played defensive back, where he had 57 tackles and four interceptions. An outstanding sprinter -- he placed fourth as a junior in the 3A state 100 meters -- Nelson plans to participate in track at Oregon. He is listed at 5'9 and 170 lbs and projects to fill a similar role to De'Anthony Thomas for the Ducks. As he told the Daytona Beach News-Journal about Oregon's recruiting pitch:
"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. "They call them different things, but they are the same plays. Once I learn the signals and everything, I am in there."
Nelson is Oregon's 17th verbal commitment and takes their recruiting class to #20 in the country, according to the 247composite ranking. Oregon has recently made a slew of offers to defensive tackle prospects and figures to take 3-5 more players before National Signing Day on February 5.
UPDATE: You can watch Charles Nelson's highlight tape on HUDL here.