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Updated: April 29th, 2014 9:44am
Gophers heavyweight wrestling standout Tony Nelson considers football

Gophers heavyweight wrestling standout Tony Nelson considers football

by Derek Wetmore
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Audio Clip
Gopher wrestler Tony Nelson says he may join Gopher football team
Gopher wrestler Tony Nelson joins Darren 'Doogie' Wolfson to discuss his success on the mat at the U, free time away from wrestling and school, and the possibility of joining the Gopher football team this fall.
[Click to listen]
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Gophers heavyweight wrestling standout Tony Nelson is considering joining the football team. 

Nelson, who said he will graduate May 16 with a mechanical engineering degree, wrapped up his fourth year of wrestling eligibility with a 2nd-place finish at the 2014 NCAA Championships.

He's a two-time national champ and four-time All-America recipient (given to the top seven wrestlers in the nation at each weight class).

Nelson said in a radio interview with 1500 ESPN contributor Darren Wolfson that he's in talks with Gophers football coach Jerry Kill, trying to decide if college football is the right fit for him.

"Yeah, I actually talked to Kill this week," Nelson said. "I'm just trying to make the decision on whether I think it's right for me. Once I decide I'm going to either be fully committed or I'll have it in the past."

Nelson said he's a defensive lineman. He played three years of football at Cambridge-Isanti High School.

"I think there's a great opportunity there. How many guys get to wrestle four years and maybe join the football team? It'd be a pretty unique opportunity," Nelson said.

Former Gophers wrestler Jake Filkins was a two-sport athlete in his time with the Minnesota. He was the long snapper on the football team and a two-year member of the wrestling program.

Nelson said the "opening is there to join the team and start practicing with them in probably May or June here."

While there's no guarantee of a starting spot, the prospect of Nelson working out is intriguing.

Derek Wetmore is the senior editor for His previous stops include and the Minnesota Daily.
Email Derek | @DerekWetmore