Aggies banking on Nelson's return

Utah State quarterback Riley Nelson is one year into his two-year LDS Church Mission in Spain, and indications are – at least to the Utah State coaching staff – that he will return to Utah State upon its completion.
“We have no indication that Riley is doing anything but coming back and enrolling in school in January (2009) and will be here for offseason workouts and spring ball a year from right now,” Guy said.
Nelson, the most decorated quarterback in Utah high school football history, chose the Aggies after leading the hometown Logan Grizzlies to the Class 3A state football championship in 2005.
He set an national record by accounting for 84 touchdowns (53 passing, 31 rushing) and finished his career with nine Utah High School state records.
As a freshman at Utah State he sat behind Leon Jackson III for the first five games and watched him implode, and finally in Game 6 Nelson made his first start and led the Aggies to the 13-12 victory over Fresno State for their only win of the 2006 season.
“We came in 27-point underdogs and we made it a point that we weren’t 27-point underdogs to anybody and that we were going to come out and win this game,” Nelson said after hitting Kevin Robinson for the game-winning score with less that a minute left in the game.
“He showed why he was responsible for 84 touchdowns and set the national (high school) record,” Guy said following the win.
“That’s why he’s a Parade All-America … He showed what it takes to manage a football game and he made plays running when he needed to and threw the ball well enough when we needed it at the end of the football game to win it.”
After Fresno State took the 12-7 lead with a field goal with 3:07 left in the game, Nelson, who prior to the drive was just 3-for-13, went 6-for-6 in the 80-yard scoring drive.
With that win, Nelson was the first Utah State quarterback since Anthony Calvillo in 1992 to win in his first career start.
The following week, the Aggies, behind Nelson, dropped a 21-14 decision at San Jose State.
Nelson, who played in eight games his freshman year, led the team in passing by completing 77-of-139 passes for 925 yards and six touchdowns with seven interceptions. He was second on the team in rushing with 290 yards.
“Contact is limited because he is on his mission, but we see his father (Keith Nelson, a former USU team doctor) and grandfather (former Aggie basketball coach Rod Tueller) occasionally,” Guy said. “…We’re anticipating him coming back.”

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