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Q&A With Scott Nelson: Favorite Big Ten Rivalry, Incredible Pro Day Performance

Scott Nelson on the field.

LAS VEGAS, NV - DECEMBER 30: Wisconsin Badgers safety Scott Nelson (9) during the SRS Distribution Las Vegas Bowl between the Wisconsin Badgers and the Arizona State Sun Devils on December 30, 2021 at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, NV. (Photo by Jordon Kelly/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

If Wisconsin defensive back Scott Nelson wasn’t on NFL teams’ radars prior to his pro day, he certainly is now.

During his pro day, Nelson ran a 4.38 40-yard dash, posted a 39.5-inch vertical and completed the 20-yard shuttle in 3.92 seconds.

As for what he showed on tape, Nelson constantly flashed his closing speed, ball skills and athleticism. Unfortunately, injuries prevented him from staying on the field.

We caught up with Scott Nelson to discuss his Wisconsin career, pro day performance and more.

The Spun: You had an impressive pro day in the eyes of many. How would you grade your performance?

Scott Nelson: I was very pleased with how I performed at my pro day. It was a ton of fun to be out there and be back with my teammates. It was nice being able to compete while also supporting each other. We just wanted to validate all the work we put in over the years.

The Spun: Were you able to make any strong connections at your pro day?

SN: Definitely. I think my pro day helped scouts go back and ask more questions about my game. Any time they watch film with you, it’s helping your case. I’ve been able to have those conversations so far. I’m hoping I can generate as much buzz as I can.

The Spun: Wisconsin is usually known for its defensive linemen and linebackers. Do you feel like this year’s class can help change the narrative surrounding its defensive backs?

SN: I think we are. We finished this past season with the No. 1 defense in terms of yards allowed. Our defensive line and linebackers get a lot of credit, and that’s deserved. But I feel like the defensive backs feel a bit slighted when it comes to NFL attention. I think there needs to be a little more love shed to the back half of the defense.

The Spun: You get one word to describe your game. What word are you using?

SN: I’d say instinctual is one that stands out. It’s a combination of my football IQ and film study. My athleticism also allows me to make game-saving plays. Safeties are supposed to be erasers. We need to fix a lot of mistakes in the back end. I know I’ve stopped several plays in my career from being big ones.

The Spun: What will you remember most from your time at Wisconsin?

SN: Being a kid from Michigan, I loved playing against the Wolverines. We pretty much played them every year. They got us a couple of times, and we got them back too. They have a lot of talented guys on their roster. It’s always fun playing against them. It’s a true rivalry where you’re fighting back and forth each year.

The Spun: Which defensive backs do you like to study?

SN: You try to watch guys similar to your size. I watch a lot of Harrison Smith and Jessie Bates. Those are two guys that make a ton of plays for their respective teams. A lot of people saw just how important Bates is to his team this past postseason. I’ve learned a lot from watching those two players, and I hope that someday I can get to their level.

The Spun: What’s one area of your game you’re trying to improve?

SN: I would probably say I want to be more flexible when it comes to my coverage. Wide receivers in the NFL are only going to get better. I need to know my weaknesses and continue to work on them.

The Spun: What is an NFL team getting in Scott Nelson?

SN: A guy who is willing to do anything to help his team win. A lot of guys are worried about themselves. I think doing whatever it takes to win has become a lost art. I have no problem sacrificing personal statistics to reach the end goal.

Scott Nelson finished his Wisconsin career with 125 total tackles, 15 pass breakups, 11.5 tackles for loss, four interceptions and a forced fumble.

Wisconsin fans will find out where Nelson's pro career will begin next month.

You can read more of our interviews with athletes or media stars here.