Scott Porter: What do you feel are your biggest strengths?
Jonathan Nelson: Well, I am not the biggest player out there so I rely on my speed to make up for it. I feel like I have great range and awareness on the field. I am not arrogant so I use my smarts on the field. I feel I excel in zone coverage but can do well in whatever situation I am put into on the field. I am dependable.
Scott Porter: What goals do you have for the NFL?
Jonathan Nelson: I haven’t really set specific goals for myself until I get there. I just want to try to last as long as I can at a high level. I want to be able to compete early at a high level. Get onto an NFL roster and contribute and make an impact in whatever way I am asked to do so upon my role with that team.
Scott Porter: Is there a player in the NFL that reminds you of yourself or that you model your game after?
Jonathan Nelson: I don’t really look at a specific player that reminds me of myself, but I try and watch some of the best like Charles Woodson, Champ Bailey and Darren Sharper and take stuff from them and try and play like them.
Scott Porter: There is a lot of speculation as to if you will play CB or S at the next level, do you prefer one over the other? Do you feel you could play both?
Jonathan Nelson: I don’t care either way really. I feel like I could do well at either one. Whatever the team wants me to play I can come in and do for them. I am very open-minded and will do and play wherever a team wants me. Whatever gets me on the field, is where I want to play. I am willing to play CB, S or both.
Scott Porter: What type of person is an NFL team getting in Jonathan Nelson?
Jonathan Nelson: You know it’s funny my parents talk about guys getting into trouble and how it hurts them a lot. I have never been on any bad list that is ever presented, you know like a lot of times they will tell you who has off field issues or who isn’t going to class or doing well in school. I have always had good grades and have worked hard on and off the field to be successful. I don’t miss any workout, I am never on the so called “bad list” they have for skipping workouts and class and all of that stuff. I don’t bring baggage to whatever team gives me a chance to reach my dreams. The NFL likes smart players so that will help me out a lot. I majored in accountant here at Oklahoma and worked very hard on my degree. I take things in and retain it and have a good understanding, I feel as if that will come very handy to me when learning in the NFL and picking up on things.
Scott Porter: Who has been your biggest influence throughout your college career?
Jonathan Nelson: Not just one person but many. My family has been my biggest. I am very family oriented and close to my family. My mom, my dad and my brother have been major influences for me. My mom actually got me started in football when I was younger. My dad and brother both played football and just having their support has been a very nice asset in my life. They all supported me throughout my college career and will continue to do so. It really has meant a lot to me.
Scott Porter: What are you looking forward to the most about your chance in the NFL?
Jonathan Nelson: Coming from High School to college you realize that there is a significant difference in talent. College was much different. You’re playing with a lot of good players at the same level. It comes down to who has more of a will, who works harder. The NFL will be the same way even more, because you’re going up against the best football players in America. Everyone in the NFL is a good athlete otherwise they would not get to that level, so it comes down to work ethic and determination that will separate players in the NFL.
Scott Porter: What advise would you give to a young student athlete coming into the college football ranks?
Jonathan Nelson: I would say first make sure you take school very serious. It is very important. There is some stat out that says 97% of student athletes don’t make it to the next level. So you have to take your college education very serious. Work hard off and on the field, you have one chance to prove yourself so if you want to reach your dreams you have to be all in, you have to go as hard as you can and work hard both on and off the field. Very few reach their dreams so you have to give 100% effort so you put yourself in the best situation you can for yourself.
Scott Porter: What hobbies do you have off the field?
Jonathan Nelson: I really don’t do much of anything. I guess playing dominos, I rarely play video games. I really don’t have any free time right now with everything going on. If you ask me this when I am less busy I would be able to expand on it.
Scott Porter: What is the toughest part about playing DB?
Jonathan Nelson: I’d say the toughest part about DB is that if you are a ½ step late someone slower than you can beat you. DB is always noticed on the field. If you make a mistake you are noticed. If you get beat everyone in the stadium and watching on TV knows. You don’t even have to know anything about football to notice a DB getting beat. You know if a DL or LB makes a mistake it isn’t noticed as much and they have the DB to make up for it as the last line of defense. The position of CB and S is magnified. A mistake in the secondary becomes very crucial to a team because people are relying on you. One step late and you can easily give up a huge play that costs your team with nobody behind you to help you make up for that mistake. One miss by a DB can cost you a game or cause the team to give up a huge play. You have to pay close attention every single play and can’t take any plays off because your team needs and depends on you every single play.