2023 NFL Draft Prospect Interview: Logan Nelson, QB, University of Mary
- Name: Logan Nelson
- Position: QB
- College: University of Mary
- Height: 6’5″
- Weight: 226 lbs
- Twitter: @Logan_Nelson9
What sets you apart from other quarterbacks?
I believe there are a couple things that set me apart from other quarterbacks. The first is that I am 6 foot 5 and 226 pounds, with the ability to put on more weight if needed, and still a mobile quarterback that is comfortable in the pocket. If you go watch my game film there are many instances where I have a defender in my face or in the process of getting hit and I still make the throw. I believe that I have a good feel of the pocket and I know when to stay in the pocket with a subtle climb or slide step, or if I need to boot out because of too much pressure. Another aspect of my game that sets me apart is my mental side of the game, most college offensive systems have the pass protection built into the play. But in the offense that my team runs I am responsible for every pass protection call for a pass play which is something that is similar to the next level, so I feel that I have a step ahead of most quarterbacks in that aspect.
Who is the most underrated player you’ve played with and why?
The most underrated player that I have played with is my starting left tackle Drake Lalim. He is a guy that I know I can count on day in and day out, and is not someone that will take a day off. He is a smart player and a great teammate and does a great job of holding other guys accountable on the team. He was also my lifting partner for the longest time, so we learned to push one another and also gain respect for each other which is a huge part of trusting your left tackle. When you have a guy like that in the left tackle position, I know that my blind side is well taken care of.
If you could hang out with any football player past or present for a day who and why?
I consider this a “no brainer” because I would hang out with Tom Brady. If you want to be the best you have to learn from the best and Tom Brady is the greatest to have played the quarterback position. So, it wouldn’t be a day of hanging out really, more of me asking a thousand questions with a notebook and pen eager to learn. Watch game film with him and ask questions about what he is looking at pre snap and what his keys are. I am a guy that can watch hours of game film at a time, and from watching his documentary I know he is too so that might just be what we do all day.
What are your favorite moments from your football life?
I have so many great memories of playing the game of football, but the one that always stands out to me as a huge jump in my football career would be the first play of my first start of high school varsity football. We were not a team that passed the ball much as we ran a wing T offense, but for the first play against the defending state champions we ran an empty formation and I completed a pass for about 30 yards. My confidence shot through the roof from that play forward and was such a key play in my football career.
What is your favorite pass play and why?
My favorite pass play would have to be a duel pre snap read, or a half and half field read. Pretty simple, you read one side of the field with whatever route concept you have and see if you have the coverage or numbers to throw to that concept. If you don’t then you look at the other side of the field and call a pass concept that will win against their coverage. This is called based on the week leading up to the game of studying the defenses film and seeing what coverages they run against certain formations. You know they’re going to run one of several options so you call two pass concepts that will complement one another and beat their defensive scheme they are running.
What type of energy do you bring onto the football field?
As far as my energy on the field I am not the guy that is screaming and yelling and trying to get guys around me jacked for the game or the upcoming series. I am the guy that is cool headed and tries to remain calm at all times. I feel that leading by that example will help keep the guys on my side of the ball calm as well, and allows them to focus on what they need to accomplish on every play. I leave the screaming and yelling to other guys on my team that are far better at it, and the calm and coaching approach to me.
What should we know about Logan Nelson the person?
What people should know about Logan Nelson the person is that I am an extremely motivated person that carries a chip on his shoulder. I was not heavily recruited out of high school with a common phrase that was said to me by Division I schools is that “you’re not big enough.” I followed that up with attending the University of Mary and gaining forty plus pounds. I was told that I was not built for the weight room and could never lift any serious weight. I currently now squat 500, bench 300, and power clean 310 pounds and am a two time National Strength and Conditioning All-American. There was an article that came out in the Bismarck Tribune back in 2020 when our season was canceled, and a reporter discussed our team and the potential need to look for a new qb since my completion percentage was only 52%. I cut out that article and kept it taped up in my room, and followed that up with passing for 3,700+ yards, 41 touchdowns, and a 65% completion percentage. I take things that would put most athletes down and I turn it into motivation and a determination of showing whoever it was that they are wrong and I am going to show everyone that they are wrong, but I also never gloat and I stay humble and move to the next task at hand.
What do you think are the keys to success on the football field?
There are so many keys to success on the football field, but I think that an ultimate key for a football team and organization is respect for every individual. If you have respect for a coach then you are not going to talk back and instead do what you’re told to the best of your ability. If you respect your teammates around you then you are going to give it everything you have day in and day out while never taking a day off. If you have respect for the staff whether that be strength and conditioning or athletic training then you will never be late to a time you said you would be there. There is a lot more that goes into this, but to simplify that, if you have respect throughout the team and organization then there will be minimal mistakes and great effort. When you have that as a team you then build trust and so many other qualities that will then build your successful football team.
How do you handle challenges both in life and on the football field?
I kind of discussed what I do about facing challenges in my life with question 7, but another part of that answer would be that I rely on people I am closest with in my life to assist me. I have been blessed with the greatest family a guy could ask for, so calling and talking to my parents is a must for me when I am struggling with something. I also rely on my older brother because he is one of the most smartest people I have ever met. There are other guys whether they are on the team or past teammates that I consider family that I lean on, and then also my other close knit group of adults being my position coach, athletic trainer, and strength coach. Those are people that have guided me so much and people that I will continue to rely on when I am faced with a challenge that I don’t necessarily know what to do about at the time.
What would a team get in a player like you?
A team would get a player that is constantly motivated to learn and improve on his game no matter how small that percentage may be. A guy that will take whatever role in order to help his team win, and somebody that is incredibly loyal to whatever team decides to take him in.
What are you looking forward to in your upcoming season?
I am looking forward to accomplishing our three goals that were set by our team after the 2021 season. They are to have a 3.0+ team gpa, to win our trophy games, and to be regionally ranked team and to make the playoffs.
What is a moment that improved you as a football player?
A moment that improved me as a football player was in the 2019 season of my career and was one of my first starts as a quarterback for UMary. I was running a spread pass concept play, and pre-snap I looked at the sam linebacker who was staring at me and seemed off. I remember having this feeling that I should check the pass protection to protect against this linebacker blitzing, but I ignored that feeling that continued with the play. That sam linebacker ended up sacking me off a blitz on the play, and from that point forward I always will remember to trust my intuition as a quarterback on the field. To study every key and tell that a defensive player may have no matter how small it may be because it might just be the key that helps your team win the game.