Landon Nelson was happy to find a home at Kansas
When Landon Nelson was playing high school football in California, he had college recruiters reaching out to him. Before his senior year his family moved to Iowa and attended West Des Moines Valley.
Nelson said part of the reason because his sister was going to the school in the Midwest and it was a good location.
But he lost track with some of the college coaches on the west coast. When the Kansas coaches offered him a preferred walk on it was exactly what he was looking for.
“I got most of my connections to Kansas through my head coach here at Valley, Coach Swenson,” Nelson said. “He did a great job reaching out, and ultimately, I got in contact with Coach Eargle after he had talked to Coach Swenson. And then, it was kind of off from that.”
Nelson spoke with Eargle several times before the Jayhawks offered a preferred walk on.
“Right away when I first talked to Coach Eargle, the relationship was great,” Nelson said. “He's a great guy. He was very enthusiastic and made it clear that they can see me fitting somewhere in there over the years.
“As time went on, we got to talking a little bit more and I instantly fell in love with the culture that the coaches created at the school. Over time, it just got better and better until ultimately, I had gotten the opportunity. It was an easy decision because of the way that they treated me.”
When Nelson was playing at San Luis Obispo, he was a two-time, all conference selection at defensive back. Last season at West Des Moines Valley he racked up 51 tackles from his spot in the secondary.
“Coach Eargle liked my senior film, and my first two clips were clips of hits that I had, and instantly he told me that it's pretty rare to find corners that are that physical,” Nelson said. “That was the first thing that he saw that he absolutely fell in love with because finding a physical corner is always nice.”
Nelson had opportunities to attend South Dakota, Northern Iowa, Valpo, and several Ivy League schools. With Lawrence fairly close to his new home, the relationship with Eargle, and a chance to play in the Big 12, he moved quick at the opportunity.
“It is a relief, to say the least,” he said. “I mean, the recruiting process was long. Some days you fill yourself with doubts and you'd get really ahead of yourself, but to finally confidently say that you're comfortable and excited for the place you're going for the next four years is something I'm definitely excited and relieved about.”
This season Nelson was voted all conference and all-academic.