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Friday, August 24, 2012

Another Nelson Critic Bites the Dust

Its been long documented that I have not always been the first one to have Riley Nelson's back. I have criticized his decision making, and questioned his ability to beat the better teams on BYU's schedule. However, after reading an article my Ivan Maisel of ESPN, that has changed.

Some of the things in that article I had previously known. Others I did not. However, the main thing that captures me about Riley Nelson, is his extreme passion for the game of football. That passion, leads him to do anything that his team needs. Even if that included playing on special teams.

Riley Nelson will be the first one to tell you that he doesnt have much of a shot to play at the next level. However, he will likewise be the first one to tell you he is going to go down without a fight.

ESPN has not been shy in their coverage of the senior signal caller for the Cougars, and they shouldnt be. Nelson's fire and leadership have long been missing from BYU since their last senior QB, Max Hall, who is now a graduate assistant QB coach under Brandon Doman. Hall had the fire and mouth to go with his leadership qualities. Those characteristics made him someone the players were drawn to, and it developed into an 11-2 senior campaign (like the previous 3 senior qb's who have a combined 33-6 record amongst them). 

While Nelson may not posses the arm or the smarts of Max Hall, their statue is comparable. So is their desire to win at all costs. This quote by head coach Bronco Mendenhall basically sums it all up, "He becamse the heart and soul of our team even though he wasn't the quarterback,"Mendenhall said. "Once he got his opportunity, it not only changed the way he played, it changed the way our entire team played. That's the influence of a leader."

Nelson is the leader. This is his team, this is his time. And I believe he is going to make the most of it. He may not lead BYU to a national championship, he is big dark horse for some of his preseason honors on numerous watch lists, and he is an even bigger long shot as an NFL draft pick next year. But one thing Riley Nelson is not, is a quitter. 

Consider this to be the official resignation of my time as a Riley Nelson critic. I'm jumping on the bandwagon!

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