Garrett Nelson is one of five in-state scholarship signees in the Huskers’ 2019 class. Nelson joins the program after being a dominant defensive force at Scottsbluff High School for each of the past three seasons. Nelson received national recognition for his performance, being named a semifinalist for the 2018 high school Butkus Award.
Over the past three seasons, Nelson has totaled 150 tackles, 26 tackles for loss and 18 sacks, while also playing offense for Coach Joe Benson’s Bearcats. In 2018, Nelson led Scottsbluff to a 12-1 record and a runner-up finish in the Class B state playoffs. Nelson finished his senior year with 39 tackles, including seven tackles for loss and four sacks for 34 yards. Nelson was named an Omaha World-Herald All-Nebraska selection and was a member of the Lincoln Journal Star Super-State team as a defensive lineman. He was also an honorary captain of the Lincoln Journal Star’s Class B all-state team.
During his junior season, Nelson helped Scottsbluff to a 9-2 record. He recorded 44 tackles, 11 tackles for loss, nine sacks and recovered a fumble. He added 133 rushing yards and caught four passes. His play earned him All-Nebraska and Super State honors from the World-Herald and Journal Star, respectively. Nelson made his first impact on the varsity squad as a sophomore, racking up 67 tackles, eight tackles for loss and five sacks to help his team to a 9-2 record.
Nelson was the first commitment to Nebraska’s 2019 class, pledging to the Cornhuskers in the summer of 2017. He was ranked as the No. 2 player in Nebraska by Rivals and among the top 40 defensive ends in the country, while 247 Sports also listed him among the nation’s top 50 defensive ends.
Garrett Nelson’s father, Chris, was an All-American wrestler for Nebraska in the early 1990s. The younger Nelson captured the Class B heavyweight wrestling title as a junior, and was a state qualifier at 220 pounds in 2017.