Once the party died down a bit in Miami after celebrating an Orange Bowl victory, Wisconsin cornerback Nick Nelson announced he has played his last game in a Badgers uniform. Nelson is heading to the NFL Draft in the spring, bringing his collegiate career to a close on a winning note.
“After praying with my family and just talking, over time, I just felt like that was the best decision to make,” Nelson said after the game, according to a Wisconsin State-Journal report. “I know that, if it’s top three rounds, you might as well go. I don’t think I could help it coming back to school. The opportunity presented itself, and I just went.”
It had been suspected Nelson would be turning pro and there were rumors suggesting he was informing his teammates of his decision leading up to the game, but now he has made it official. His decision comes after receiving a second-round NFL draft grade from the NFL’s Draft Advisory Board. A good showing at the NFL Scouting Combine could help solidify that draft outlook for Nelson.
Nelson recorded 35 tackles and played a role on punt returns for Wisconsin this season. His ability to play defense and special teams will make him a prospect worth watching at the next level.
It’s a good old-fashioned defensive battle in the Big Ten between Michigan and Wisconsin, and if not for a couple of plays going the wrong way, Michigan could very well be in the lead. Instead, the Wolverines and Badgers are locked in a 7-7 draw at halftime as the defenses have set the tone on both sides of the sideline so far today.
Wisconsin’s lone score came on a punt return by Nick Nelson in the first quarter, and it came after making a usually costly decision to pick the ball up to make a return. He managed to avoid a disaster and found pay dirt for the first score of the game.
Just when it appeared Michigan was about to get some point son the scoreboard with a touchdown, a video replay from the Big Ten officials upheld a controversial incompletion to Donovan Peoples-Jones. The play was ruled incomplete but the video review appeared to show the receiver get his left foot down just before the right foot touched out of bounds. This may have been a case of not feeling the video evidence was indisputable to overturn the original call on the field. Michigan quarterback Brandon Peters lost the football on a fumble while trying to pick up an extra yard near the end zone, giving the Badgers the ball deep in their own end with a 7-0 lead preserved.
Michigan did manage to get in the end zone in the first half though, and there would be no review to overturn the result. Ben Mason powered his way across the goal line at the end of a seven-play, 84-yard drive. Still, Michigan fans have to be a bit upset about that non-touchdown call by the replay booth. We’ll see if that comes back to haunt Michigan in the second half or not.
Michigan has out-gained Wisconsin 170-99 at the half. The Badgers have just four first downs.