VIDEO: Space Coast Sports Hall of Famer, Palm Bay’s Reggie Nelson Signs With Oakland Raiders
By SPACE COAST SPORTS HALL OF FAME // April 7, 2016
SPACE COAST SPORTS HALL OF FAME
ABOVE VIDEO: Reggie Nelson was born in Melbourne on Sept. 21, 1983, and helped Palm Bay High win the Class 4A title under Coach Dan Burke in 2002. A 5-foot-11, 202-pounder, Nelson was named First Team All-State in both his junior and senior years at Palm Bay High and averaged an incredible 45 yards a punt return, and 26.8 yards a kick return as a senior.
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – The Oakland Raiders have signed former Bengals safety, Space Coast Sports Hall of Famer and Palm Bay High standout Reggie Nelson, the Raiders announced Wednesday. Nelson’s deal is a two-year contract worth up to $12 million, NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported, via a source with knowledge on the deal.
Nelson, 32, earned his first trip to the Pro Bowl this past season after coming up with a league-high eight interceptions and recovering two fumbles for the Cincinnati Bengals.
A first-round pick of the Jaguars in 2007, he has 30 career interceptions.
Nelson now joins the Raiders with another Brevard County native also on the Raiders, Titusville’s Latavius Murray, who is the current starting running back for the Oakland Raiders and former UCF Knight.
Reggie Nelson is a member of the Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame class of 2012. Below is his profile.
REGGIE NELSON – 2012 INDUCTEE
• Consensus All-American at Florida
• 2006 National Champion
• All-Time Florida Prep Great
BORN IN BREVARD COUNTY
Reggie Nelson was born in Melbourne on Sept. 21, 1983, and helped Palm Bay High win the Class 4A title under Coach Dan Burke in 2002.
A 5-foot-11, 202-pounder, Nelson was named First Team All-State in both his junior and senior years at Palm Bay High and averaged an incredible 45 yards a punt return, and 26.8 yards a kick return as a senior.
In 2007, the Florida High School Athletics Association named Nelson to its All-Century Team, honoring him as one of the best 33 Florida high school football players in the past 100 years.
After graduating from Palm Bay High, Nelson enrolled at Coffeyville Community College. After redshirting during his Freshman year in 2003, Nelson had 85 tackles and six interceptions during the 2004 season at Coffeyville.
He blocked five kicks, recovered two fumbles and forced two fumbles as the Ravens posted a 10-2 record. Nelson was named a first-team NJCAA All-America and a first-team All-Jayhawk Conference strong safety.
GATOR NATIONAL CHAMPION & ALL-AMERICAN
Nelson transferred to the University of Florida for the 2005 season and immediately made an impact at free safety. He had 46 tackles, four sacks and one interception during his first year.
During the 2006 season at Florida, Nelson had 51 tackles and six interceptions as the Gators won the national title. He also returned 12 punts for a 7.8 yard average. Nelson was a consensus First Team All-America selection.
Florida defeated Ohio State 41-14 in the BCS National Championship Game, and Nelson won the coveted Jack Tatum Trophy as the top collegiate defensive back. Although he had one more year of eligibility remaining, Nelson opted to enter the NFL Draft.
FIRST ROUND DRAFT PICK
Nelson was selected by the Jacksonville Jaguars in the 2007 NFL Draft with the 21st pick of the first round and during his rookie season with the Jags, he had 63 tackles, five interceptions and one forced fumble.
In his second season with Jacksonville, Nelson had 54 tackles and two interceptions in 13 games, missing three games due to injuries. In 2009, his third and last season with the Jaguars, Nelson totaled 70 tackles in 16 games.
After the 2009 season, the Jaguars traded Nelson to the Bengals just before the start of the 2010 season.
In 2010, his first year with the Bengals, Nelson had 54 tackles and two interceptions.
As a free agent after the 2010 season the Bengals signed Nelson to a four-year deal after he briefly considered signing with the New York Jets.
During the 2011 season, Nelson helped the Bengals earn a playoff berth as he had 85 tackles, two sacks and four interceptions.
One of his interceptions, at right, was returned 75 yards for a touchdown against the Seattle Seahawks – the fifth-longest interception in Bengals’ history.
THE 2016 SPACE COAST SPORTS HALL OF FAME Banquet and Induction Ceremony will take place at the Cocoa Beach Country Club on Friday, May 13 with a cocktail reception at 6 p.m. – and dinner and ceremony at 7 p.m.
For information about the Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2016, call 321-615-8111 or e-mail Contact@SpaceCoastDaily.com