Brenton Nelson Riding Remarkable Journey with UVA Football

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UVa strong safety Brenton Nelson UVa strong safety Brenton Nelson

UVa strong safety Brenton Nelson has been one of the best stories of this young UVa football season.

Nelson, a redshirt freshman, leads the 'Hoos with two interceptions.   The Miami native has started every game this season and has 19 tackles.

Nelson came to UVa last year as a track recruit, specializing in the triple jump.  He played football at DeMatha high school in Maryland as a senior, and walked on to the UVa football team last year.   

In August, before the start of this football season, Nelson was put on scholarship.  He remembers telling his mom the good news.

"She screamed, she screamed, said she was so proud of me and loves me and everything," says Nelson.  "Out of state tuition is like sixty thousand so it's a huge load of the mind.  Coming out of DeMatha without having a committed school, it shook me.   When I walked on here, there's no reason why I can't compete with these other guys, I'm just as good so I worked, I worked hard."

Nelson, whose 5-foot-11 and 180 pounds, had college football offers going back his sophomore season in high school in Florida, but Nelson says he waited too long to commit.

Nelson says he's not much of a talker.   "So all this is new, the interviews and all that.  It's overwhelming at times."

Nelson and the Cavaliers host Duke Saturday at 12:20pm.   You can watch the game on NBC29.