Updated: Feb 27
On Friday August 14th QB Velocity ran into Seamus Nelson, an Outside Linebacker for Montclair State University. Seamus Nelson grew up in Kinnelon, New Jersey and grew up with one of our very own interns, Zach Nussbaum. He was a star athlete in Football and Lacrosse, but chose to play Football in College.
Seamus Nelson is a 6'4 Outside Linebacker and has been a terror on the field. He won First-Team All-Defense in the NJAC Conference, which is one of the biggest Division III conferences in the country.
Seamus Nelson is a hard worker and it has shown, even being noticed by a prestigious writing website called, NFL Draft Diamonds, and we will provide that link below. Seamus told us what it was like growing up in a small town, his transition from High School to College and his success on and off the field! Let's take a look at what the man himself, Seamus Nelson had to say!
Here is the link to Seamus Nelson's NFL Draft Diamonds article.
What was it like growing up in a small town like Kinnelon, New Jersey?
“Well for Kinnelon, it’s a smaller town, but it was a cool experience because I was a big fish in a small pond, it was a fun experience. I played alongside you at one point, (referring to Zach Nussbaum) Just such a small-town vibe and everyone knew each other on the team, it was really cool I liked it.”
What made you play Football? And what influence made you love the game?
“Growing up my parents tried to expose me to every sport possible, at one point I was doing Lacrosse, Track, Baseball, Soccer and Football, then at the end of the day I figured that I loved Football more than all of it.
I could have found a way to play Lacrosse in college to, but I loved Football more than all the other sports that I played. The influence I had was probably as far as playing was probably my Dad. He played in Kinnelon and following in his footsteps was pretty cool, but then growing up through High School it was definitely my older brother Liam.
He and I were both really into it, we worked out together and we played in High School for two years, and another two in college at Montclair. He really pushed me and I really pushed him to be the best players we could be.”
What was your recruiting process like?
“Going into Junior year is when I started doing camps to try and get my name out there for colleges. After my junior season it was one of my best seasons as a High School player, I got noticed from FCS and FBS schools. I did get looks but nothing panned out towards the end, and senior year came around I was still kind of looking for a home.
I was getting courted by all of these smaller D3 schools and eventually the most reasonable decision ended up being Montclair and I’m glad it was because I've loved my time there and I'm close to home, about twenty minutes from where I live and my older brother Liam was there to.
I felt like it was a home away from home, right off the bat. The recruiting process was a little shaky for me, it had me scrambling, I didn't even commit on time, the deadline is what May 1st I think. I didn’t even commit to Montclair till May 5th. It was super last minute, but I'm glad it worked out the way it did.”
What made you play Outside Linebacker in College? You played so many different positions in High School, why OLB?
“Yeah, I bounced around a lot, in High School I played almost every position, I played Tackle, Tight End, Wide Receiver, Running Back, then defense I played both linebackers, I played safety and I actually got recruited to Montclair to be a Tight End, Wide Receiver.
Then going into camp, we were about two and a half, three weeks away from camp starting and I got a text from my coach and recruiter, Coach Pallazo, asking, ‘How do you feel about playing Outside Linebacker?’ And I said, ‘Whatever gets me on the field fastest coach!’ and he said, ‘Great!’ and that’s my story on moving to Outside Linebacker.
I’m glad it worked out that way to, mentally when I’m on the field I’m a lot more aggressive, I feel Defense compliments that really well, because I feel like I can just go do my thing, do my job and just be a player out there and Offense is a little more finesse.”
Describe your playing style as a linebacker
“As a linebacker I try to use my speed and height to every advantage and being an outside linebacker, I believe that it was a position my body was perfectly made for. Mentally I flip the switch and have the mindset of doing whatever it takes to work harder than the player in the opposite color jersey and leave everything out on the field every gameday and to only be content when I do my job correctly and when my team gets the win, if one of those things doesn’t happen then I use that as motivation to come back better and stronger.”
How was your on-field transition from High School to College Football?
“I’ll give you the story I remember specifically, in Kinnelon like I said, we were a really small school and we played other really small schools, so I didn’t really realize how much talent really was out there. Obviously, I played against some really good talent in High School, but as you guys know College is a completely different animal.
I was on scout team and I was playing against First Offense, I forget who it was, but he ran across the middle on a shallow route and I was playing Middle Linebacker and I hit this kid what I thought was as hard as I could and I hit him and my neck was hurting, I was thinking that was probably a sick hit.
I looked on film and it looked like nothing, I don’t know if I hit him wrong or something. My transition made me understand how many good players are really out there, and as far as divisions go, DI, DII, and DIII, there’s just a lot of talent at every single level and it’s just a matter of if you get the right looks sometimes and that really covers it, College is a completely different ballgame man.”
What was it like becoming first team all Defense?
“It was truly an honor, I’m not going to lie, I didn’t expect it. I knew the awards were coming out, I was at work and my brother Liam, is still involved, he actually coached at Montclair for his fifth year. He texted me congrats, and I said, ‘For what?’ He said, ‘Check the teams.’ So, I checked it, and I saw first team and I was expecting second, third, maybe an honorable mention, when I saw I got first I was like, ‘Wow, Liam, why do you think I got it?’ And he kind of explained it to me, even though I wasn’t that flashy on the field, I was still a player you needed to account for.
That kind of made me realize, some of these coaches see more in players than the players do, they don’t want to see the flashy huge hits or the sick one-handed catches, but at the end of the day being a player, there is more to it.
You got to know what you are doing on the field at all times, do your job at all times and being named first team really gave me a sense of gratitude that other people were noticing what I was doing out there.”
How have you, as a student athlete, handled COVID-19 as a whole?
“Obviously it is uncharted territory for everybody, I’ve been trying to handle it the best I can, obviously I have been trying to practice social distancing the best I can trying to be clean and stuff.
As a student athlete, obviously lifting has been hard as far as getting into the gym. Recently things have gotten better, thank god for my two friends Zach and Matt and you also made an appearance Dom! We were able to go to a small baseball gym in Wayne and get some work in there.
It’s just been so different and handling the virus itself has been tough. As far as how it affected me in school and sports, it’s just completely different. I think we did a good job as far as Montclair goes, good job handling it and making sure everybody gets their schoolwork done, because it’s tough for everybody.
The team had one of the highest GPA it has had in years, which I’m really proud of my guys for and I’m sure my guys have been working out as well, we all keep in contact, I think we have been handling it really well. Me personally I think I handled it the best way I could. Shoutout to Bierman’s Dojo in Wayne, New Jersey!!!!
We have talked about this before, but with COVID, take me through the decisions a high impact player like you has to make for your last year of eligibility.
“The way I think about it, I went to Montclair for school first, I used Football to get me to the best spot I can academically. I go to school for school, not Football and I want to get my degree. I’m going to take these two semesters and I’m here for the degree, obviously, but being successful at Football has been a blessing and being able to get interviews like this has been awesome.
For me I want to get my degree and with that extra year I am looking at grad school, not currently, but I have thought about it. Whether it is looking at Montclair so I can come back for a fifth year and if that doesn’t work out, I’ll definitely try somewhere, but I definitely want to stay at Montclair.
If I have that one year of eligibility left, it’ll have to be a grad year, hopefully the spring works out, I don’t want to put off getting my undergrad more than I have to.”
What advice do you have for upcoming college athlete in general?
“Especially during this time, remind yourself what you are doing it for, you’re doing it for the love of the game. Going to College it’s going to be a rough ride, especially in this situation where you aren’t even going to have a fall season almost everywhere.
The advice I have, is work every day, just try and get yourself ready, because it’ll be here before you know it. The fall semester is already here and next thing you know its spring and hopefully we are playing again.
I will just say prepare yourself and you can do that by working out and get ready to be independent, because it’s all on you in College, there’s no one there to hold your hand, you don’t have your parents keeping tabs on you there, just remember what you are there for and be the best person you can be.
Were you surprised when you were asked for an interview by NFL Draft Diamonds?
“The writer, I believe his name is Justin Berendzen, he followed me on Instagram about two weeks prior to messaging me and then he messaged me and said, ‘Hey, I’d love to interview you, I did my research on you and you seem like a good candidate to interview.’ And I was like, ‘Ugh... alright,’
So I asked him a couple questions, because I had never heard of them. I was like, ‘Do you just interview random players? Or is there a criteria you need to meet?’ And he said, ‘I saw you and saw you were a top player for your team and the conference. I watched the film and you seem like a really good candidate for this and I think you could play pro.’ I was truly honored by that and the interview went great.
The interview was over text, so I had time to think and write about my questions. It was a really cool experience, I’m not going to lie, but some of the questions were pretty shocking to me, because I didn’t think he was going to ask me NFL questions and I was like, ‘Wow! This could be a real thing!’
Since that interview I've been taking myself a lot more serious, not that I wasn’t taking myself seriously prior, but that interview really made me see, that people are noticing. The fact that a writer like that was able to notice me, made me realize I really have a real thing here that could be done. It’s motivated me and I've been trying to use that motivation.”
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