Lengthy in-state defensive end makes pledge to Cyclones

Iowa State chalked up its second in-state football commitment in the span of 24 hours on Tuesday morning.

That’s when Anthony Nelson, a 6-foot-7, 215-pound defensive end out of Waukee called Paul Rhoads and made his decision. 

“I decided this weekend that Iowa State was just the perfect fit,” Nelson said. “No other offer is going to change my mind and Iowa State is the place for me. I decided that there is no point in waiting if I know in the end that it will be Iowa State.”

Nelson’s lengthy 6-foot-7 frame is intriguing, to state the obvious. He clearly has some bulk to put on but Nelson projected 265 pounds as his ideal playing weight in the Big 12.

“They just think that I can be a really productive defensive end there,” Nelson said. “They are expecting me to put on some weight obviously but they expect that when I put on the weight for me to stay productive.”

That is the key to the rest of Nelson’s summer.

“I’m just going to get in the weight room to try and get stronger,” Nelson said. “I want to do agility stuff and try to get faster.” 

In addition to being a D-1 football prospect, Nelson is a legitimate basketball talent too. He nearly averaged a double-double at 14.1 points and 9.3 rebounds last season for the Warriors, who finished with a record of 18-5.

“I will keep playing basketball and enjoy my final year,” Nelson said. “Basketball has really helped me with my football ability with my feet, hands and agility. They encouraged me to keep playing basketball and all of that stuff.”

The real quirk to this story is the fact that Nelson’s father, Jeff, was a defensive lineman for the Iowa Hawkeyes from 1988-92. No worries though. All is well in the Nelson house.

“He supported it and he agreed that this is the best place for me and this is the right decision,” Nelson said. “It didn’t matter that he went to Iowa. He just wanted me to find the best place.”

Chris Williams


Chris was hired as Cyclone Fanatic’s publisher in the fall of 2009. He is Iowa State football's postgame show host on the Cyclone Radio Network and can be heard daily from 4-7 on Des Moines' top-rated sports station, 1460 KXnO. Williams, a 2007 graduate of Iowa State’s Greenlee School of Journalism, is the former publisher of the old ( He has also written for the Des Moines Register, the Ames Tribune, and is the former sports director at KMA Radio. When Williams isn’t working, you can usually find him doing something outdoors with his wife Ashley, daughter Camryn, and Golden Retriever Dierks. He enjoys golfing, boating, country music, the Minnesota Vikings, Atlanta Braves and is passionate about any and all motor sports so finding Williams at a local dirt track is very common.