Steven Nelson might feel like he is being overlooked a little bit as far as his NFL prospects go, but he certainly has a chance to change that in the next month.
Nelson, a former Northside standout who finished his senior season at Oregon State in November, has been invited to play in the Senior Bowl on Jan. 24. The players arrive for the game Jan. 18 and work for the week in front of NFL scouts, coaches and front office members.
That should give Nelson plenty of opportunities to impress and improve his draft stock.
“I think the media and those kind of people are really talking about players from bigger schools and maybe not looking at guys from Oregon State,” Nelson said. “I just have to go there and do my best and see how it plays out.”
For the 5-foot-11, 194-pound cornerback, things worked out pretty well during his college career.
After finishing up at Northside as an All-Middle Georgia selection his senior season as a return man, Nelson spent two seasons at the College of the Sequoias. He finished with 71 tackles, 19 pass breakups and six interceptions in two seasons before signing with Oregon State.
Nelson had a terrific first year with the Beavers, ending the season with 62 tackles and six interceptions and earning All-Pac-12 honorable mention honors. He backed that up his senior season in 2014 with two interceptions and 60 tackles and was named to the All-Pac-12 second team.
“This has truly been a journey to get here,” Nelson said. “It’s a blessing. It’s like a dream come true, and everything I have worked so hard for is starting to reveal itself to me, and that’s exciting.”
Nelson is also excited to see what’s next. After the Senior Bowl, he will turn his focus to the NFL’s Scouting Combine, which will be held Feb. 17-23 in Indianapolis.
The draft is set for April 30-May 2.
“I think my chances are pretty good for the draft,” Nelson said. “(At the Senior Bowl), all the coaches and scouts are there just to do their jobs and seeing what we can do. I just have to have a chip on my shoulder and show them what I’m capable of doing as a player.”