Jack Nelson joined a select group of high school football players Wednesday, Oct. 16, when he was honored at a ceremony for his selection to play in The U.S. Army All-American Bowl.
The game will be played at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas on Jan. 4, 2020. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. and will be broadcast on NBC Sports.
In the game’s 20 years, 453 players have gone on to play in the NFL, and 16 have become Heisman Trophy finalists.
“I’m looking forward to the experience the most,” Nelson said. “The game is just another football game where I have to perform to the best of my ability.”
The last Stoughton player to play in a game similar to the All-American Bowl was 2016 graduate Mike Gerber, who played in the Blue-Grey Football All-American Bowl before heading off to Army.
“It helps our program as far as receiving recognition in the community and around the state,” Stoughton coach Dan Prahl said, “and now he’s going to represent Stoughton on a national stage. It’s actually energized some of our guys to say that we have an All-American on our team.”
The last player from the Badger South Conference to play in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl was 2006 Monona Grove grad Gabe Carimi, who went on to become an All-American at Wisconsin before being drafted by the Chicago Bears in the first round of the 2011 NFL Draft.
“It’s going to be different obviously, but otherwise it won’t be a big deal,” Nelson said. “I just have to focus on my technique. It’s still a team sport, and I’ll have a couple days to get to know the guys.”
Nelson is a four-year starter on the Stoughton offensive line. The 6-foot-7, 275-pound left tackle committed to the University of Wisconsin-Madison during his sophomore year.
Nelson is rated as a four-star recruit by ESPN Recruiting Database and 247sports.com, and is ranked 122nd in the nation by 247sports and 146th in the 2020 ESPN 300.
Two other Badger commits will play in the All-American Bowl: Kettle Moraine offensive lineman Trey Wedig and outside linebacker Nick Herbig from St. Louis High School in Honolulu, Hawaii. Nelson is the second-best recruiting prospect in Wisconsin behind Wedig, according to 247sports.
Nelson will forgo his senior basketball season, graduate at semester and play in the All-American Bowl before enrolling early at Wisconsin. One of his future teammates, quarterback Graham Mertz, won MVP honors at last year’s All-American Bowl after throwing a game-record five touchdown passes.
“He’s very professional in what he does,” Prahl said of Nelson. “He’re already a professional in his approach to the game, his diet and strength and conditioning. I can’t wait to see what he does at Wisconsin, because I think he’s going to get there and going to give guys a run for their money right away.”