BSD’s recruiting staff sat down for a roundtable on each prospect Penn State signed in the 2022 class. Coming in at No. 16 was four-star JUCO offensive lineman JB Nelson.
What makes you excited about JB Nelson?
“Nelson is further ahead than I think a lot of people understand at this point. He’s light on his feet for a guy who goes 6-foot-5 and 300 pounds. He’s recently dropped about 20 pounds of bad weight and that should only serve to make him more mobile. He’s got great arm length and is a bully in the run game. And, perhaps even more exciting, he has four years to play three.” --Clay
What worries you about JB Nelson?
“While what Clay said is correct, Nelson is further ahead than a lot of JUCO offensive linemen are at this point and he has terrific footwork. That said, the jump from the JUCO level to the Big Ten is a big one. It is also one we have seen Lackawanna offensive linemen struggle with in the past. Will Nelson be able to make that jump? As a wise man once said, time will tell.” --Marty
Do you think JB Nelson will be redshirted next season? Around what point of his career do you think he pushes for meaningful playing time?
“Being an early enrollee, Nelson is already on campus which certainly helps his chances for playing right away. The issue has been that the Lackawanna offensive linemen — like most JUCO products — haven’t been physically where they need to be to be plug-and-play. Paris Palmer played out of complete necessity, while it took Anthony Whigan two years before he starting really pushing for playing time. Toss in that Penn State seems quite active in going after transfer OLs, and I think Nelson is squarely in the “yellow light” category where *ideally* he’s redshirted but may be forced into action.
An additional important note on Nelson, as Clay pointed out too: because the 2020 year didn’t count for JUCO schools either, Nelson technically carries a “true sophomore” designation in 2022. So should he redshirt, he’d be eligible to be here for the 2023 (RS SO), 2024 (RS JR), and 2025 (RS SR) seasons as well. I really like the scenario where he redshirts in 2022, acclimates physically to the Big Ten game, and then still has three years to start.” --Patrick
What do you think is the most realistic outcome for JB Nelson: depth provider, starter, multi-year starter, all-conference, or all-american?
Clay: Multi-year starter
Marty: Depth provider
Patrick: Multi-year starter
Lastly, where do you have JB Nelson ranked in Penn State’s class?
Clay: No. 15
Marty: No. 23
Patrick: No. 14