Commentary

Battle lines drawn

Miami commit LB Kevin Nelson already has a problem with the Florida Gators

Originally Published: November 24, 2009
By Christopher Stock | InsideTheU.com

It might be four years away, but Kevin Nelson already has September 7, 2013 circled on his calendar.

That's the next time the University of Miami is scheduled to play the University of Florida.

"I can't wait to play them suckers, for real," Nelson said. "I know it's a long time from now. I just can't wait 'till we play these suckers. They are just disrespectful."

Nelson, a star linebacker at Gainesville High School who is having a monster season with 150 tackles, seven sacks, six forced fumbles, and two interceptions, is a verbal commitment to Miami and apparently that has bothered people at UF, which has offered him a scholarship.

Nelson, the third-ranked inside linebacker by ESPN, attended Saturday's game at Florida against FIU as an unofficial visitor, a common decision amongst recruits with offers from their hometown school, but was told he was not welcome in the locker room like the rest of the recruits.

"I can't get down to Miami all the time because I'm not financially able to, so I went to see a game at Florida because there's nothing else to do," Nelson explained. "After the game, Brandon Spikes was talking to me and told me to come in the locker room because he wanted to give me some gloves. But then a guy that works at UF told me I wasn't allowed to come in. I told them who I was, that I have a scholarship offer from them, and I live five miles from the school. He told me that I had to turn around and wait.

"Then I saw the guy from Fleming Island, a big dude (Ian Silberman) who is committed to them. He's walking into the locker room with his boys and I am outside waiting to talk to my friends. It was very disrespectful. I'm never showing my face around here again."

Nelson also noted that some of the Gator Girls, who work for UF and handle recruits on gamedays, gave him a hard time when he was there. But he did say he has a good relationship with Spikes and some of the other players.

"Spikes, that's my boy. Spikes is cool. My cousin played there and one of my old teammates Earl Okine. People told me to come in and holler at them. I think it's because I committed to the University of Miami. But throw all that out the window, you just don't treat people like that. They are two-faced."

This is the second incident with UF that has had Nelson fuming. Another incident was with an assistant coach.

"The coaches are just disrespectful," Nelson said.

Nelson verbally committed to Miami in the summer, which surprised people at Florida and within the community.

"People wonder why I didn't commit to the University of Florida. Exactly. They are disrespectful. They didn't really want me. They only wanted me because LSU offered me. They are grimy and two-faced."

The offer from Florida came in during the spring, a month after LSU offered, which is something he was not happy with.

"It takes you six months to a year to recognize a talent here," Nelson said. "You have talent right in front of your school, but you go across the nation to get guys."

Nelson and teammate Devont'a Davis, also a UM commit, helped lead the squad to a 17-0 win over Hudson last week in the first round of the Class 4A state playoffs. Nelson had a 1-yard touchdown run and the duo helped the defense hold Lakewood to 77 yards rushing.

Gainesville travels to Tarpon Springs on Friday as 16 teams are still alive.

"I want to keep playing and get to Orlando to have Coach Barrow and Coach Shannon see me play live," Nelson said.


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Ohio State Buckeyes (www.bucknuts.com)

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Oregon Ducks (www.duckterritory.com)

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Penn State Nittany Lions (www.nittanynetwork.com)

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Texas A&M Aggies (www.texags.com)

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