The recruiting journey of longtime UGA DB commit Steven Nelson took another twist on Tuesday.
Nelson, who had been committed to UGA since last February, backed off his pledge to the Bulldogs.
The highly-regarded defensive back from a California junior college will likely decide between Oregon State and Texas Tech in December.
Nelson is a native of Warner Robins and, he is ranked as the nation’s No. 2 DB out of the junior college ranks by 247sports.com.
“Steven did de-commit from Georgia but he has not committed anywhere else right now,” Fred Zepeda, the defensive backs coach at the College of Sequoias junior college, told the AJC.
“He took a long time to think about everything before he made this decision (to de-commit). I’m just supporting Steven with whatever he does. I told him to go ahead and take his trip to Houston on Dec. 14. He will probably wait until sometime over his Christmas break before he will make his decision.”
How did things sour between UGA and Nelson? Apparently, UGA had very little to do with Nelson after he committed, according to his coach.
“He didn’t communicate very much with the DC at Georgia (defensive coordinator Todd Grantham),” Zepeda said. “The only coach that he was communicating with was (UGA defensive backs coach Scott Lakatos). The relationship between the DC coach and Steven wasn’t there.
“When Steven went on an unofficial to Georgia last summer, he just briefly spoke with the staff. He didn’t really get to sit down with them like he wanted to, other than Coach Lakatos.
“You know it was the ‘relationship factor’ between Steven and Georgia.
“Then you’ve got (Oregon State defensive back coach) Rod Perry. He’s got 17 years of experience in the NFL, and that was pretty big, too.
“Steven took an official visit out there to Oregon State on Oct. 6. And prior to that, Steven had been communicating a lot with both Coach Perry and (Oregon State head coach Mike Riley). He felt comfortable with the relationships he had established.
“Steven just never felt the same connection with the Georgia coaches.”
Last August, Nelson took an official visit to Texas Tech. A California newspaper reported that Nelson committed to Texas Tech – which Nelson vehemently denied.
A few days later, a person claiming to be a UGA fan contacted Nelson directly over the telephone to ask about his commitment status. You can read about that here.
Nelson also was considering Oklahoma, but “they kind of fell out of the picture,” his coach said. “Steven really wasn’t that interested in them.”
Asked if Nelson would reconsider UGA, his coach replied, “I think that it’s not going to happen with Georgia. Oregon State and Texas Tech would be his top two schools right now.”
UGA has lost four commits from its 2013 class — RB Derrick Henry (Alabama), WR Kyrin Priester (NC State), OL Trenton Brown (undecided) and Nelson.
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