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Notre Dame Football Recruiting

2022 CB Keenan Nelson Jr. Stays In Touch, Hopes To See Notre Dame

October 9, 2020

Keenan Nelson Jr.‍ and his teammates at St. Joseph’s Prep in Philadelphia have been practicing long enough now.

“It sucks just practicing and not playing anybody,” the 2022 Pennsylvania cornerback says.

That changes this weekend, when Nelson and St. Joseph’s Prep get to play a game against Life Christian Academy.

“Finally, it feels real,” says Nelson.

Despite the frustration of a delay caused by COVID-19, Nelson is grateful he has the chance to play at all this season.

“It really makes you appreciate the game,” he says. “Times like this, some people can play and some people can’t. I feel bad for the people who can’t.”

St. Joseph’s Prep only has five regular season games on its schedule before the postseason, but the goal for Nelson and his teammates is a simple one.

“Just get better every day,” says Nelson.

He doesn’t have any personal goals for himself other than trying to be more productive in every category possible, although Nelson understands that could be difficult if he doesn’t get tested as often.

“When you get ranked as a DB, you don’t really get a lot of action on your side,” he says. “But I’m not going to sleep on it.

“I just focus on my technique, make sure I don’t fall asleep and run to the ball.”

The 6-foot-1, 195-pounder says recruiting is going good and that he’s “staying 100 percent open.”

He has offers from schools like Notre Dame, Penn State, Pitt, Georgia, Miami, Tennessee, Virginia, Virginia Tech, West Virginia, Michigan State, Nebraska and Oregon.

Nelson has kept in contact with Irish cornerbacks coach Mike Mickens and even had a call scheduled with Mickens earlier this week.

“He likes me and thinks I’d be a great fit there,” Nelson says of Mickens. “He just tells me to stay focused and do good in school.

“He’s cool, down to earth. I can talk to him about anything. I can come to him about anything.”

Mickens has made it clear why the Irish value Nelson so much.

“They like DBs like me, big and physical,” says Nelson. “That’s what they like.”

Nelson hopes for the chance to make it to South Bend at some point in the future.

“I’d like to see the facilities,” he says. “I’ve never been there, so I’d like to see everything.”

He has several other schools he wants to check out as well.

“I definitely want to get out to Tennessee,” he says. “I want to go to Oregon, Georgia. I want to get back up to Penn State, back up to Rutgers. I want to go out to Arizona State.”

Nelson doesn’t have a timeline for a decision, but does know what he’s looking for.

“Good academics, a brotherhood on and off the football field where we’re all aligned and a place where I can go to the coaches with anything.”

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