Nelson To Serve As Honorary Captain
Emmetsburg native son Bruce Nelson will serve as the Honorary Captain for this Saturday’s Iowa Hawkeyes football game against the Panthers of the University of Northern Iowa. Nelson, an All State player for Coach Duane Twait and the Emmetsburg E-Hawks, went on to not only play for the Iowa Hawkeyes but was also drafted and played for the NFL’s Carolina Panthers before retiring and returning to Emmetsburg to farm.
Nelson became a Hawkeye after walking on in his freshman year and redshirted that first season. As a sophomore, Nelson would join the offensive line and went on to play 48 straight games over his next four seasons for the Hawkeyes. He was named a first-team All-American in 2002 as the Hawkeyes posted a perfect 8-0 mark in the Big Ten Conference. He also helped Iowa to its first-ever BCS appearance when the Hawkeyes took on USC in the Orange Bowl. Nelson also was named All-American by the Football Writers Association of America and CNNSI.com, and he was a finalist for the Rimington Trophy, presented annually to the top center in the nation.
Nelson also excelled in the classroom, as he earned academic all-Big Ten recognition in each of his final three years.After graduating from Iowa, Nelson was drafted in the second round of the 2003 NFL Draft by the Carolina Panthers.
He retired from the NFL and returned home to Emmetsburg where he farms and volunteers as an assistant coach with the Emmetsburg E-Hawk football program.
Kickoff for the game at Kinnick Stadium is set for 2:42 p.m. Iowa leads the all-time series with the Panthers 14-1 and has won 14 straight games. As the Honorary Captain, Nelson will accompany the Iowa captains to the center of the field for Saturday’s pregame coin toss. He will also be with the Hawkeyes in the locker room before and after the game, and on the sidelines during the contest.