Erik Nelson (Courtesy of Saddleback Athletics Department )
Former Gaucho Erik Nelson, enrolled as a Bengal Linebacker at Idaho State College on Jan. 14.
The 6-foot-2, 225-pound transfer was recognized as a second-team all-league honorary as a senior at Tesoro High School. He placed fourth on the Gaucho football team in tackles as a sophomore this past season.
“Erik was definitely a vocal leader and lead by example,” former Gaucho teammate Dominick Ela said. “Giving up is not an option with Erik. He was an athletic linebacker and made big plays when he needed it.”
With a record of 10.5 sacks, 3 picks and 3 fumbles, Nelson helped lead the Gauchos to win their most recent divisional conference.
Ending their season with a strong five win streak, the Gauchos finished with a 6-5 overall record and an impressive 5-1 record within their southern conference.
“Football has taught me how to be selfless and put others before myself, like the team for an example.” Nelson said. “Your teams’ success is ultimately your success.”
Learning life lessons during the duration of his football career, Nelson believes that he has grown as an athlete and has matured as a student in accordance with the sport.
“If he plans on carrying himself the same way he carried himself at Saddleback, and plans on being a leader and play maker for the Bengals, he will contribute to Idaho State.” Ela said.
Led by head coach Mike Kramer, the Idaho State Bengals are a National Collegiate Athletic Association Division-l team. Affiliated with the Big Sky Conference the Bengals face 12 other teams from the Western United States, including: University of California Davis, Cal Poly Pomona, Portland State and Northern Arizona University.
Last season the Bengals finished with a record of 0-8 within their conference and an overall record of 1-10.
The born and raised Californian man is finding it hard to adapt to the Idaho weather, but he has managed to find a connection with the new school and football team. Enjoying the experience thus far, Nelson is excited to start a new football season and chapter within his life.
The 2013 Idaho State Bengals will have their first game of the year against the Red Storms of the Dixie State College of Utah on Sept. 7.]
ISU Football Homepage
2012 Gaucho Football Defensive Statistics
Erik Nelson Saddleback Player Profile