Garrett Nelson

Garrett Nelson committed to Nebraska on June 24, 2017. That commitment has never wavered. In fact it's strengthened.

Garrett Nelson committed to Nebraska on June 24, 2017. That commitment has never wavered, it’s strengthened.

Nelson, a future outside linebacker, has attended eight of the Huskers’ past 10 home games. That’s despite the six-hour drive from Scottsbluff and playing every Friday night before making the trip.

That’s a 12-hour journey for Garrett, his mom Holli and dad Chris.

Reached Sunday night by phone while on the road, of course, Chris, a former Husker wrestler, explained: “We are doing the road warrior thing.”

“Garrett is committed to the university, and like any parent, we will do everything we can to make it happen for him if he wants to go to the games,” he said.

That includes flying.

Chris answered his phone from Denver International Airport. The best way to cut into the time on the road is to fly south to Denver from Scottsbluff, then fly to Omaha. The last leg is driving from Omaha to Lincoln.

The family usually returns home late Sunday.

The only two games Garrett missed since committing are the two 11 a.m. games in that span — understandable considering Garrett usually gets to bed at 2 a.m. on Saturday after his Friday night high school games. A 6 a.m. flight out of Scottsbluff to Denver means a 4:30 a.m. wake-up call.

It’s a long weekend after a long week of school and football practices. But Garrett, for those who have not met him, is nothing if not energetic.

“When things get tough and I’m tired, I just think about playing in that stadium and 90,000 people yelling for my team and being friends with people on the team and jumping around and screaming and being a bunch of psychos, and I can’t wait.” That quote was from Nelson the summer before his junior year of high school. And his enthusiasm hasn’t waned.

“This is my school and this is who I support,” Nelson said Sunday. “I have supported them my whole life. Growing up I didn’t get the chance to go to that many games, so if we can make it work, why not? I love every part of it and I can’t wait to be on the field playing.”

Nelson was the first commit for the 2019 class and the rare Panhandle scholarship recruit. He also became an immediate peer recruiter.

NU has 17 commits in the 2019 class and they participate in a group text. Many have become fast friends.

Nelson occasionally spends time with quarterback commit Luke McCaffrey and his family at their Colorado home.

“All of the guys talk daily and we are pretty much family,” Nelson said. “(It) is almost like I have known them my whole life. I can’t wait to go and achieve my dreams with them.”

The trips to Lincoln to see the games and his future teammates are fun, but there is more to it for Nelson.

“It gives me a chance to learn the game,” he said. “Luke (Gifford) is the position I will play and I look up to him and take away something new every time I see him play in person.”

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Mike is a prep recruiting specialist for The World-Herald. Follow him on Twitter @MikeSautterOWH. Phone: 402-444-1335.

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