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Northwestern's Nelson named SportsFource Champion

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Northwestern's Jared Nelson scored four touchdowns against Dickinson State. Northwestern's Jared Nelson scored four touchdowns against Dickinson State.
ORANGE CITY, IA (KTIV) -

Orange City, Iowa, was never on Jared Nelson's map.

"I didn't really want to come out to Iowa," said Nelson. "I didn't expect to come out here. I was kind of only looking at schools that were local."

Local for Nelson, a Washington native, was the West coast. But Northwestern head coach Matt McCarty, then the defensive coordinator, convinced Nelson to give Iowa a shot.

"They talked to me, and they just seemed really interested in me as a person, as an athlete. I just decided to come and I've loved it ever since."

A quarterback in high school, Nelson's college career started on defense.

"Came in as a defensive back, did a great job, then he decided to switch to offense," said Coach McCarty. "We red-shirted him, he worked really hard at his craft as a receiver and you can see it pay off now."

That work was never more evident than on Saturday, in Northwestern's 37-3 win. Nelson had more touchdown grabs, four, than Dickinson State had points.

"I wouldn't say that anything felt super different. I think that our coaches put in a lot of time preparing us as an  offense. So we kind of knew what we were looking for, and where we wanted to find areas to capitalize on their defense."

"I can trust throwing the ball to him," said Northwestern freshman quarterback Tyson Kooima. "He's got good hands. They were keying on TeBrink the whole game, his speed and stuff, so Jared just got open in the right moments."

That four score game put Nelson into the GPAC lead with five touchdown receptions. And after a football career full of change, Nelson finally looks like a constant in the Red Raider offense.

"The best thing about Jared is that he's a team player," added McCarty. "He'll do anything you ask him to do so it's fun to see him have  some success."

"I hope to make as much of an impact on this team as I can and helping out in any way," said Nelson. "If that means scoring,  when I have the opportunity, then that's what I want to keep on doing."

Northwestern, 2-0 and ranked 24th in the NAIA this week, is back at home against Concordia on Saturday at 1 o'clock.

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