There’s more to a player than the sport

Junior Colin Nelson believes there is more to a football team than a single player, it’s all of them coming together the makes them win.

Nelson has been involved with football for most of his life. When his family moved to a new town right before he went into third grade. His parents wanted him to meet some new people and since he had already played basketball and baseball he knew that he like sports. He signed up for football right then and has been in it ever since. His senior year, he became a captain, which taught him that football was more than a sport.

“It kind of takes a different dynamic, when you’re looked up to that much by your teammates,” Nelson said. “You really have to be an example on and off the field. I took it seriously and I really tried to help mentor the younger guys and really just be an overall role model.”

He has been on the team for the past three years now, but this was the first year that he stayed in town over the summer to work on his playing. There he was able to play against other school like Western Oregon University and Portland State University, which showed him what it meant to be in a college team.

“Just being here and being around the guys was great,” Nelson said. “ Working out with them, working with the quarterbacks to get the timing down and playing that level of competition made a big difference. I had to learn how to step up and those are pretty invaluable experiences.”

With the additional training, Nelson wants to help bring the team closer to their goal if winning the national championship this year. After ended last season with a “sour taste in their mouths” he is just putting in that extra effort to help get them there.

“I just want to continue improving,” Nelson said. “I’m not that big on stats, I’m more about the team. I want to contribute more and more, every game if I can. Just doing the little things right and doing whatever I can to get us were we want to go.”

When he isn’t on the field practicing, Nelson is studying towards in double major of finance and economics with a minor of sports management. He knew from the start that he wanted to do something in the field of science or business since his mom is a nurse and his father is in business. When he arrived at Linfield he found his calling in an economics class.

“Throughout the course I just got really interested in economics and through that then finance,” Nelson said. “I like understanding how things work and economics for me just really explains a lot about how the world works. I find that really interesting.”

He doesn’t however take these opportunities for granted. He knows first hand that not everyone has the chance to do what they want. His youngest brother, Christian, has autism. Nelson hangs up his cleats to bond with his brother over computers, technology and playing video games, which Christian always “destroys” Nelson in. More than anything else, Nelson accounts Christian for shaping his life.

“It just makes me really thankful for the gifts I have,” Nelson said. “I don’t take it for granted that I can play college football or anything like that, because I can see directly in my family someone who will never have the opportunity. It’s just something that has really influenced me as a person.”

Nelson is looking forward to the rest of the season and the couple of years he has left at Linfield. When he first came to the campus on a tour, he knew it was the place for him.

“For me it was really about the people,” Nelson said. “I looked at a lot of different places, because I played football at a bunch of different places. Here between the coaches and the players that I met, I just felt like this was a place where I could come and I know would improve as a football player and a person and a student. That’s really been the case.”

By Stephanie Hofmann/sports editor

Stephanie Hofmann/sports editor

Wide receiver junior Colin Nelson has played football since the third grade and hasn’t stopped since. Nelson has used  what he learned in his life, on and off the field.