Most people don't get the opportunity of a lifetime and have a chance to live a dream.
Just over a week ago, however, College of the Sequoias (Visalia, Calif.) cornerback Steven Nelson saw all of his hard work bear fruit, and his tumultuous journey become a worthy one.
"Having the chance to play for Georgia is what I always wanted to do," said Nelson. "So when Coach (Scott) Lakatos called and told me they wanted me, and then offered me, I knew what I wanted to do. I called them a few minutes after they offered, and committed."
Nelson has always been a Georgia fan, but while at Northside-Warner Robins, his grades kept him from being a serious recruit.
Once it became time to choose a junior college, Nelson knew he needed to get away from his hometown to focus, and he followed the advice of his cousin, former Northside and current Baylor defensive back, K.J. Morton.
"He suggested that I go out to COS and get away," he said. "He said it would help me get better and get more offers."
Although he got sound advice from Morton and has learned a great deal from moving out west, Nelson will be the first to admit that getting a chance to get closer to home is a good thing.
"I'm happy to be getting closer to home," he said. "Just being back in Georgia is going to be great. It's going to be good for my family to come see me play and all."
Nelson isn't alone in being a Georgia fan, as he grew up with a large portion of his family following the red and black.
"I've always been a Georgia fan," said Nelson. "Most of my family are Georgia fans, and there is UGA stuff every where in their houses. It is pretty much every where I look. I grew up seeing all that stuff and it is just how we are."
Nelson also understands that the position he plays is a large reason the Bulldogs targeted him so early compared to other JUCO prospects.
"I know they will lose some guys after this year," said Nelson. "I believe they want me to come in and play that corner spot opposite of Damian Swann. They want me to be ready to play right away, and I believe that my time here has prepared me for it."
Once he committed to Georgia, one of Nelson's immediate thoughts was to redshirt in 2012 so that he could have three years to play at UGA.
According to the Northside standout, he isn't quite sure if he will go forward with that plan or not.
"At first, I thought it would be a great idea to redshirt that way I could have longer to play at UGA," he said. "It would give me three years to play at UGA, and it would allow me to just focus on school and track. The Georgia coaches are cool with it. Then I talked to my coach here, and he said they really need me, so I'm not sure what I am going to do now."
As for the classroom, Nelson is determined not to let history repeat itself.
"I already let stuff in the classroom hold me back one time," he said. "I have learned from that mistake, and I'm not going to let it happen again. I have a 3.3 GPA right now, and I know what I have to do to graduate. I'll be good to go."
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