Honors & Awards
» Team Captain (2022)
» Second-Team All-Big Ten (2022, Coaches, Media)
» Academic All-Big Ten (2020, 2021)
» Nebraska Scholar-Athlete Honor Roll (Fall 2020; Spring 2019, 2020)
Garrett Nelson started every game in 2022, extending his streak to 32 consecutive starts to end his career, as Nelson declared for the NFL Draft following the season. He led Nebraska with 9.0 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks while recording a career-high 65 total tackles. He also added two pass breakups, two fumble recoveries and one forced fumble, ranking 22nd nationally in fumble recoveries. For his performance, Nelson was recognized as a second-team All-Big Ten selection by the conference coaches and league media.
Nelson had three tackles and a pass breakup in the season opener against Northwestern. Against North Dakota, Nelson finished with eight tackles, including a three-yard strip sack that resulted in a Husker takeaway. Nelson also broke up a pass for the second straight week against the Fighting Hawks. Against No. 6 Oklahoma, Nelson finished with five tackles and had a takeaway with a fumble recovery. Nelson had three tackles against Indiana, including a career-high 2.0 sacks.
Nelson had a huge game at Rutgers, finishing with a career-high 11 tackles. He added 2.0 tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks in Nebraska's come-from-behind win. At Purdue the next week, Nelson recorded three solo tackles, including a three-yard tackle for loss. He had three tackles against No. 17 Illinois. Nelson made five tackles against Minnesota, including 1.5 tackles for loss. He made an impact at No. 3 Michigan with six tackles and an eight-yard sack. Nelson posted his second career game with double-digit tackles against Wisconsin, finishing with 10 tackles and a half TFL. He ended his season with four tackles and a fumble recovery and 14-yard return that set up a touchdown in Nebraska's victory at Iowa.
Nelson started every game at outside linebacker in 2021, totaling 57 tackles and a team-high 11.5 tackles for loss and 5.0 sacks, setting career highs in all three categories. Nelson ranked seventh in the Big Ten with 11.5 TFLs at the conclusion of the regular season.
He made six tackles at Illinois, including a half sack and a career-high 2.5 tackles for loss. In the win over Fordham, Nelson recorded a pair of tackles. Against Buffalo, he finished with three tackles, including 2.0 TFLs. Nelson totaled six tackles at No. 3 Oklahoma, including a half tackle for loss. He filled up the stat sheet at No. 20 Michigan State, recording six tackles, 2.0 TFLs, 1.0 sack and his first career pass breakup. Nelson recorded two tackles against Northwestern, including a 12-yard sack. Nelson totaled six tackles against No. 9 Michigan.
At Minnesota, Nelson finished with eight tackles - one shy of his career high - and added a two-yard tackle for loss. Nelson totaled five tackles and a half sack against Purdue. He had an 11-yard strip sack against No. 6 Ohio State. Nelson finished with six tackles at No. 19 Wisconsin, including a six-yard sack. In the season finale, Nelson recorded six tackles against No. 17 Iowa.
2020 (Covid Season)
Nelson started all eight games at outside linebacker as a sophomore. He set then-career highs with 30 tackles, 4.0 tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks, with each of his TFLs coming in the season’s final three games.
Nelson made his first career start at No. 5 Ohio State and finished with one tackle. At Northwestern, Nelson tallied three tackles and a quarterback hurry. Nelson notched a career-high nine tackles in the win over Penn State. He made one tackle against Illinois and had four solo tackles at Iowa. Nelson had two tackles, including 1.5 sacks in the win at Purdue, the first sacks of his career. Nelson finished with five tackles against Minnesota, including a four-yard tackle for loss. In the season-ending win at Rutgers, Nelson finished with five tackles, including 1.5 TFLs.
Nelson played in 11 of 12 games as a true freshman, totaling 15 tackles. He made one tackle in the opener against South Alabama and had two tackles against Northern Illinois and Ohio State. Nelson also had two tackles at Minnesota, with both tackles behind the line of scrimmage for his first career TFLs. He had two more tackles against Indiana. Nelson totaled five tackles against No. 15 Wisconsin. An illness kept him out of the Huskers’ win at Maryland but he returned to play in the season finale against Iowa.
Before Nebraska (Scottsbluff HS)
Nelson was one of five in-state scholarship signees in the Huskers’ 2019 class. Nelson joined the program after being a dominant defensive force at Scottsbluff High School, where he was a semifinalist for the 2018 high school Butkus Award.
In three seasons for Scottsbluff, Nelson 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.
The son of Chris and Holli Nelson, Garrett was born on March 1, 2000. A finance major. Garrett earned his bachelor's degree from Nebraska in May 2022. He has volunteered his time with the Nebraska Football Road Race and local hospital visits. His father, Chris, was a two-time All-America wrestler at Nebraska who finished his career with a 101-37-3 record and holds the school record for dual victories in a season (21 in 1989-90).