With offers from many major college football programs in the country, Quenton Nelson took the first few steps toward narrowing his list down this week by taking a few visits. The Rivals100 offensive lineman from Red Bank (N.J.) Red Bank Catholic visited Boston College, Ohio State and Penn State this week. The Golden Eagles hosted Nelson early in the week.
"I thought it was great that the new athletic director and new coach are coming in together and are sharing the same plan," said the 6-foot-5, 282-pound Nelson. "I got to talk to Mr. Bates, the athletic director and he's a big football guy. He played in three Rose Bowls for Michigan and wants to help Coach Addazio turn the program around. I met with coach Addazio and he talked to me about what he is going to change from last year and how he is going to take Boston College back to what it used to be but it is going to take some time but hey need good players. I also got to talk to Coach Fry, the offensive line coach. He and Coach Addazio have a great passion for what they do. I could really see that when I watch their practice the next day. The practice was very up-tempo.
"I met with the dean of the business school and he was also a football advocate," he said. "We toured the campus and it was very nice. They have good academics, a solid coaching staff, they play in the ACC and I have faith that Coach Addazio will get Boston College back to where it was."
On March 27, Nelson and his family made the eight and a half hour drive to Columbus to see the Buckeyes.
"The first day was more about the academics," Nelson said. "I arrived at the Woody Hayes Center and I took a tour and met with the dean of the business school. Ohio State has a pretty good business school. Then I got to meet with President Gee. He is pretty old but he acts like he is 21 and is huge on football. Then I got to see the dorms I'd be living in and they honestly looked brand new. I got to see most of the campus and it was beautiful. I met with the academic support staff and, if I went to Ohio State, I think they would be able to help me a lot.
"Then my parents and I ate lunch with Coach Warriner and he was talking about where they're at right now and how they need to keep it rolling," he explained. "They're going to lose four really good offensive linemen next year and that will open up four spots on the offensive line. Then I got a tour of the stadium and they played an awesome highlight video on the big screen. I went and saw practice and talked to Coach Meyer for about five minutes before practice. I talked to Kyle Trout and he was really nice. After practice, my family and I went to dinner with Coach Warriner and we talked about where I fit in with the program.
"I stayed that night with one of their right tackles," Nelson said. "He was really nice to me and he answered a lot of my questions about the program and the school. The next morning I got to see the facilities, saw the weight room, met the strength and conditioning staff and they told me about their program, that I'm in great shape and that I wouldn't have to cut or gain any weight. Then I got to meet with the athletic trainer and saw all the rehab equipment they have. Their facilities were the best I've ever seen so far.
"Next, I had lunch with the Trout family and they were really nice," he said. "After that I went back and talked to Coach Meyer for a little over an hour and he was telling me how much he wants me and that I shouldn't waste my money at these others schools because I had already been to the best school. Going in, I already new he was a really good coach but he is also a really nice guy. He talked about his family and gave me the sense that he is a dad and also a coach for the players."
After taking in everything at Ohio State, Nelson stopped at Penn State on his way home.
"We got into a hotel about five minutes away from the Penn State on Friday night and met with Coach Strollo and Coach O'Brien the next morning," said Nelson. "I don't think they would have been there if I didn't come in for a visit. Coach Mac (McWhorter) couldn't be there because it was he and his wife's anniversary. I talked to Coach O'Brien for about an hour and 45 minutes. He really showed me how much he wants and needs me. Talking to him just gave me more interest in Penn State and made me feel better about the school itself. He also answered a lot of my questions about the sanctions and I'm not really worried about them anymore. I would go there and redshirt my first year then play the next year and then the sanctions would be over and I'd have three more years of football.
"They also had a really good recruiting class with Brendan Mahon, Garrett Sickels and Christian Hackenberg so I think they'll have a pretty good future," he said. "The only thing I'm worried about with the scholarships is that they are only allowed to take a certain amount of scholarships this year. I just really had a great time with Coach O'Brien and talking about the school, the program, where he sees it going and where I fit in.
"After that, two players happened to walk by and Coach O'Brien let me talk to them," Nelson said. "It was the John Urschel and Miles Dieffenbach. They both started last year. They are great guys and they were really good friends. They talked about what the linemen to during practice, outside of practice and it seemed like it was a lot of fun to be a lineman for Penn State. The bond they had was really strong and I could see myself fitting in being an offensive lineman there."
It was very clear that all three schools made a great impression on Nelson.
"Penn state and Ohio State are big schools and Boston College is small school," he said. "I honestly like them all. I didn't like one better than the other in terms of that. Penn State and Ohio State have better facilities than Boston College but Boston College has better academics than Ohio State and Penn State. When I come out with a top ten all of them will be on it and so will Rutgers."
When Nelson announced his visit schedule he said he would also visit Northwestern, Notre Dame and Rutgers.
"I'm looking forward to all of them," Nelson said. "I wouldn't say I'm looking forward to any one of them more than another. I want to meet with academic staff, the dean of the business school, see the facilities, talk with the coaching staff, see the dorms, stay the night with a player, see how I fit in with the players, see the campus and that sort of stuff."
As of now, Nelson does not have any other visits planned.
He will compete in the Rivals Camp Series Presented by Under Armour in New Jersey.