Gainesville linebacker picks UM


Published: Wednesday, July 1, 2009 at 3:41 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, July 1, 2009 at 3:41 p.m.

Gainesville High School linebacker Kevin Nelson, a 6-foot-2, 220-pound Class of 2010 senior, has committed to Miami.

The 6-foot-1, 220-pound Nelson chose UM over scholarship offers from Florida, Arkansas, Kentucky, LSU, Louisville, South Carolina and Central Florida. Florida State and Tennessee also had expressed interest.

"I'm a big Miami fan, and that was one of my dream schools," said Nelson, who spent the early part of his life in Miami. "One of the reasons I have worked so hard is to get the chance with them. And lately, I've really just been feeling Miami as the place I want to be.

"I can really see myself playing for (coach) Randy Shannon."

Nelson added turning down the hometown Gators wasn't easy.

"It was difficult because I have family here that are all dedicated Florida fans," Nelson said on Wednesday. "It was hard for me to tell them, but I know they support me."

In other recruiting news, Buchholz catcher Will Allen picked the Ole Miss Rebels over an offer from UF, which already has a 2010 commitment from Columbia shortstop Jacob Tillotson, a good friend of Allen's.

"When I visited (Oxford) during the Alabama series, everything was great," said Allen, a two-time runner-up for The Sun's player of the year award. "The fans, the atmosphere, the coaches, the players... fans were tailgating before games, which is something I haven't seen before in baseball."

Allen added he will continue to be a Gator fan, except when he has to face them.

"I still always will love Florida," Allen said. "Coach (Kevin) O'Sullivan and his staff are great over there.

"But I have a great opportunity at Ole Miss. Florida has some great catchers coming in for the Class of 2009 (Mike Zunino and Austin Maddox), who I think will do really well. Ole Miss is just where I feel like I fit best."

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