David Nelson (American football)

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David Nelson
David Nelson walking in the white uniform of the Buffalo Bills with his helmet under his arm.
Nelson with the Buffalo Bills in 2011
No. 86
Position: Wide receiver
Personal information
Born: (1986-11-07) November 7, 1986 (age 31)
Dallas, Texas
Height: 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)
Weight: 215 lb (98 kg)
Career information
High school: Wichita Falls (TX) Rider
College: Florida
Undrafted: 2010
Career history
 * Offseason and/or practice squad member only
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Receptions: 138
Receiving yards: 1,530
Touchdowns: 10
Player stats at NFL.com
Player stats at PFR

David Alan Nelson (born November 7, 1986) is a former American football wide receiver. He played college football for the University of Florida, where he was a member of two BCS National Championship teams. He was signed by the Buffalo Bills as an undrafted free agent in 2010, and also played for the New York Jets and Pittsburgh Steelers.

Early years[edit]

Nelson was born in Wichita Falls, Texas in 1986.[1] He began his high school career at 1A Petrolia High School, winning the 2002 Texas 1A State Championship. Beginning his junior year, he attended S. H. Rider High School in Wichita Falls, where he played for the Rider Raiders high school football team.[2] As a senior, Nelson was team captain and had ninety-one receptions for 1,641 yards and eighteen touchdowns.[2]

College career[edit]

Nelson accepted an athletic scholarship to attend the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida,[2] where he played for coach Urban Meyer's Florida Gators football team from 2005 to 2009.[3] The Gators coaching staff elected to redshirt Nelson as a true freshman in 2005.[2] During his time as a Gator, the team won two SEC Championship Games (2006, 2008) and two BCS National Championship Games (2007, 2009).[3] The highlight of his 2009 senior season was a four-reception day for fifty-three yards against the Alabama Crimson Tide in the 2009 SEC Championship Game.[2] During his four-season college career, Nelson played in forty-four games, started fourteen, and made forty-six receptions for 630 yards (a 13.7-yard average) and seven touchdowns. Nelson was the recipient of quarterback Tim Tebow's "jump pass" in the 2009 BCS National Championship Game which cemented the Gators' 24–14 victory over the Oklahoma Sooners.[2]

Nelson graduated from the University of Florida with a bachelor's degree in sociology in 2009.

Professional career[edit]

Buffalo Bills[edit]

The Buffalo Bills signed Nelson as undrafted free agent, and he made his professional debut in the Bills' October 3, 2010 game against the New York Jets. Nelson had two consecutive touchdowns catches in the 2010-2011 season from quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick in games against Cleveland and Miami, in weeks 14 and 15. Following the 2012 season, the Bills did not tender a new contract, and he became an unrestricted free agent.[4]

Cleveland Browns[edit]

Nelson was signed by the Cleveland Browns on April 8, 2013. He was cut by the Browns on August 31, 2013.[5]

New York Jets[edit]

Nelson was signed by the New York Jets on October 2, 2013.[6] He had 36 receptions for 423 yards and a pair of touchdowns during the 2013 season. Nelson was released on October 18, 2014 after the Jets had traded for Percy Harvin.[7]

Pittsburgh Steelers[edit]

On August 12, 2015, Nelson was signed by the Pittsburgh Steelers to a 1-year, $745,000 deal.[8] At his first practice with the Steelers, Nelson suffered a shoulder injury. On August 25, 2015, the Steelers announced that after receiving an MRI on his shoulder, Nelson had been added to the injured/reserved list.[9]

NFL statistics[edit]

Receiving Stats

Year Team Games Receptions Targets Receiving Yards Average Yards Longest Receiving TDs 1st Downs
2010 BUF 15 31 48 353 11.4 37 3 19
2011 BUF 16 61 98 658 10.8 35 5 32
2012 BUF 1 2 5 31 15.5 21 0 2
2013 NYJ 12 36 60 423 11.8 31 2 20
Total Total 44 130 211 1,465 11.3 37 10 73


Personal life[edit]

Nelson made national headlines in 2011 as a member of the Bills when they played the Dallas Cowboys, as his girlfriend at the time, Kelsi Reich, was a cheerleader for the Cowboys. He promised to do "something special" for her if he scored a touchdown in the game. After catching a touchdown pass from Ryan Fitzpatrick, Nelson jogged along the sidelines as cameras paid attention until he found Reich. They embraced and he gave her the scoring ball.[11]

David got married to Madison Sadri of Charlotte, NC on June 9, 2017. They are expecting their first child in April, 2018.

David and his brothers have started a non-profit organization, I'mME, that focuses on ending the orphan cycle. They were inspired by a trip to Haiti in 2012.[12]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Pro-Football-Reference.com, Players, David Nelson. Retrieved March 31, 2011.
  2. ^ a b c d e f GatorZone.com, Football History, 2009 Roster, David Nelson. Retrieved May 8, 2011.
  3. ^ a b 2011 Florida Gators Football Media Guide Archived April 2, 2012, at the Wayback Machine., University Athletic Association, Gainesville, Florida, pp. 74, 81, 184 (2011). Retrieved August 31, 2011.
  4. ^ Adam Schefter, "David Nelson to become free agent," ESPN (February 24, 2013). Retrieved February 25, 2013.
  5. ^ Browns sign WR David Nelson
  6. ^ Jets Staff (October 2, 2013). "Jets Sign WR David Nelson to Active Roster". New York Jets. Archived from the original on October 5, 2013. Retrieved October 2, 2013. 
  7. ^ Allen, Eric (October 18, 2014). "Harvin Jet Sweeping to New York". New York Jets. Archived from the original on October 23, 2014. Retrieved October 19, 2014. 
  8. ^ "David Nelson, ex-Jets receiver, signs with Pittsburgh Steelers". Retrieved August 12, 2015. 
  9. ^ "Pittsburgh Steelers sign Doug Legursky". Retrieved August 25, 2015. 
  10. ^ "David Nelson Stats". ESPN Internet Ventures. Retrieved February 20, 2014. 
  11. ^ "Buffalo Bills receiver David Nelson scores TD, then gives ball to Dallas Cowboys cheerleader and girlfriend, Kelsi Reich". NY Daily News. November 14, 2011. 
  12. ^ "WR Nelson: NFL forcing me to choose between football, nonprofit". Fox Sports. Jul 24, 2015. 

External links[edit]