The Florida Gators could not have finished their season on a better note, and for some players, they…
Nelson's Career Filled with Ups and Downs
"It's been a rollercoaster to say the least, but it's something this team is ready for. We are equipped to handle stuff like this," Nelson said. "We have had a crazy rollercoaster season, so it wouldn't be the same unless we had it like this at the end of the season."
The way everything has happen for this class it has brought the four players closer along with the two walk-ons, Joey Sorrentino and Cade Holliday, who joined them for the five-year ride.
"I think we have probably had the craziest class probably in SEC history. Just the way things have gone down, with guys leaving, the way guys have left, guys got kicked off or the things that happened after they were gone," Nelson said. "It's just been a crazy ride and us six have stood strong together."
Meyer obviously played a large role in sculpting how Nelson matured of the last five years which is why he took it so hard when Meyer told the team he was stepping down.
"I think I was the most emotional person in that meeting room when he announced that he was stepping down, and it wasn't so much for selfish reasons because I'm done here, but it was because of the impact he has made on my life and the impact he has made on a lot of guys I've seen come through here," Nelson said. "At the time, knowing that he wouldn't be able to mold these young men and sculpt them to the men I've become and the ones I've seen become. It was so hard for me to know that there are so many guys on this team that are making strides, who are getting better as people, and to know now that he was stepping down and that he wouldn't be able to impact them the way he impacted me."
During senior tackle, the ritual Meyer started for the last day of practice to honor the outgoing players, Nelson was far less emotional because of the rollercoaster the team has been on for the last month and the focus on the Friday's game against Cincinnati.
"There wasn't any tears today that was something I was surprised to see," Nelson said. "Guys are so focused and motivated for this game on Friday that that is all our focus is on."
Nelson used his experiences of being at Florida for five years in his parting message to his teammates.
"My message to the team was I've been here for a long time, I've gone through a lot of ups and downs, really just to enjoy the moment. A lot of young guys are sitting on their chairs right now that hate their lives, times are really hard for them right now thinking that it's going to be a long time before they're in my situation, but it's been a long time and at the same time it's kind of gone by fast. Just enjoy what you're going through, trust the coaching staff, just enjoy your teammates, above all else enjoy the relationships that you have with guys," Nelson said.
His message of enjoying the time as a Gator was one that many of the other seniors chose to go with as well.
"Most of the guys message was the same, just enjoy your time here," Meyer said.
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