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February 1 was definitely one of the brighter days in football for Jaylin Nelson. The Duncanville dual-threat quarterback, who was listed as an athlete on the Texas State board, officially signed his letter of intent to enroll and play football in San Marcos.

But things didn’t always look as bright as his future does now for Nelson.

After leading First Baptist to the Division III state title in his freshman year, he also had a solid season for DeSoto the following year. As a sophomore, Nelson threw for 1,888 yards and 18 touchdowns and rushed for 954 and 14 touchdowns in just nine games after the starting quarterback, Tristen Wallace, broke his ankle. Nelson’s parents decided that the family needed a more comfortable place to live, so they moved from a small apartment into a house, however, the house was located in Duncanville. This would mean that Nelson would attend his third different school in as many years and this is where things would begin to seem to get rocky for Nelson.

The UIL declared that Nelson would be ineligible to play varsity football in 2015 and he would have to sit out his entire junior season at the varsity level, but he would be allowed to play at the junior varsity level, where he led the JV team to a 7-2 record in 2015).

The bad news kept coming in his senior campaign. In week eight of his senior season, Nelson suffered a season-ending injury in a game against the school he last played varsity football for, DeSoto. Up until that point, Nelson had thrown for 1,528 yards and 13 touchdowns, and rushed for 491 yards and eight touchdowns.

Even though he would never step foot on a football field in a high school football uniform again, that didn’t stop Nelson from contributing to his team. Nelson’s teammates still turned to him for advice and critique of the games and he was more than happy to help. While the team was devastated at the loss of Nelson for the season, they rallied together and made a deep run into the playoffs, ultimately losing to Allen in the fourth round of the playoffs.

After Nelson went down with the season-ending injury, one of his best friends, Tre Siggers decided to pay tribute to his friend by wearing his number during Duncanville’s remaining games. “He looks like me,” Nelson told SportsDay. “It looks like I’m out there and he’s wearing it right because he’s out there making plays. At least someone who is wearing my number is representing me and they’re doing it right.”

So here we are now, ineligibility and injuries behind him, Nelson is ready for another fresh start and another opportunity to get back on the football field. He was rated as a three star recruit by Scout, 247Sports and ESPN and was ranked as one of the 20 under the radar recruits in the state of Texas. Whether or not Nelson gets an opportunity to play at the quarterback position is yet to be determined, but a recent tweet from Nelson suggests that it’s definitely on his mind.

Regardless of what position he lines up at for the Bobcats, the fact remains that the team is getting a playmaker and Texas State will definitely benefit from it.

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