The 4-1-1 with Derrie Nelson

By NU Athletic Communications
Photo by None

Name: Derrie Nelson

Hometown: Fairmont, Neb.

Years played: 1978-80

Honors: First-Team All-American (1980), Lombardi Award Semi-Finalist (1980), Optimist Award Winner (1980), First-Team All-Big 8 (1979, 1980), Big 8 Defensive Player-of-the-Year (1980), Team Co-Captain (1980), several Player-of-the-Week honors, participated in Hula and Japan Bowl All-Star Games, 4th Round Draft Pick by the Dallas Cowboys, inducted into the Nebraska Football Hall of Fame in 1998

Professional career and honors: 1982-1986 San Diego Chargers; Special Teams Player-of-the-Year (1983, 1985)


Derrie Nelson was one of the most intimidating fixtures on the 1980 Blackshirts defense.  A defensive end responsible for 21 tackles behind the line for 153 yards lost during his senior season, Nelson was a unanimous choice for All-Big Eight and Big Eight Defensive Player-of-the-Year honors. 


After graduation, he was selected in the fourth round of the NFL draft, and played for four years with the San Diego Chargers, becoming a standout on Special Teams.  He retired in 1986 and then what?  Get the inside info with Husker 411 with Derrie Nelson.

Who is Derrie Nelson?
A mentor of youth trying to develop their potential for their future.

What’s the most significant personal achievement or event that’s happened in your life since you left Nebraska?
I have been able to travel and experience other cultures, which has aided me in my work with youth.

What’s the one thing you learned through your student-athlete experience at Nebraska that’s helped you the most?
My experience taught me to focus on priorities and to encourage others to push through the tough times. 

What are you doing now?
I am a Life Skills Trainer (LST) at Epworth Village in York, Neb. 

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