Class: freshman

Position: quarterback

Height/weight: 6-2/222

The news: The plan had been to redshirt him, but he will start at quarterback today against Wisconsin.

Background: Nelson led Mankato West to the Class 4A state semifinals last season, passing for 2,784 yards and 35 TDs. One recruiting analyst ranked him second in the country among pro-style QBs; others had him much lower. He was raised until eight years ago in Sun Prairie, Wis., 10 miles from where he will play today.