Former Gaucho quarterback pleads guilty to drug charges

Michael Grennell

Former Saddleback College quarterback Nikolas “Nick” Nelson pleaded guilty to two drug charges on Wednesday, and was reportedly sentenced to an 18 month drug treatment program.

According to the Orange County Sheriff’s Department blotter, a 911 call was made by Nelson’s mother in which she said she found him smoking heroin in the bathroom at her residence. Nelson’s mother also told authorities that Nick had argued with his younger brother and attempted to punch him. When police arrived they took Nelson into custody and placed him in the James A. Musick jail facility in Irvine. Nelson went before a judge on Wednesday, where he pleaded guilty to a felony drug possession charge, and a misdemeanor drug paraphenalia possession charge. According to a story from Rancho Santa Margarita Patch, Nelson was sentenced to participate in an 18 month drug treatment program, and was released on his own recognizance.

Nelson played for the Gauchos from 2005 to 2006. During his career at Saddleback, Nelson completed 262 of 430 pass attempts and threw for over 3,400 yards and 32 touchdowns. Nelson is seventh on the Gauchos all-time passing yards list with 3,473. He helped lead the Gauchos to an 11-1 record in 2006, when he threw for 2,241 yards and 18 touchdowns. Nelson transferred to Colorado University in 2007, and played for only one season with the Buffaloes, completing three passes out of six attempts for 22 yards.

Nelson became the second former Gaucho quarterback in the last 12 months to face legal problems involving drugs. Former Gaucho Colt Brennan was arrested in July following a traffic stop in Hawaii. According to an article from the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, Brennan was pulled over late at night for speeding and failed a field sobriety test administered by officers. He was arrested under suspicion of driving under the influence and third degree promotion of a dangerous drug after officers discovered a small amount of cocaine in his car. The Hawaii Department of the Prosecuting Attorney later announced that Brennan would not be charged with drug possession due to a Hawaii Supreme Court ruling, but he would still be charged with driving under the influence.