The Nelson family focuses on doing their best — not besting others

Return To Article
Add a comment
  • Bruzzer Ogden, UT
    Oct. 15, 2011 12:02 p.m.

    A great story Thanks Amy

  • clintharris Saint George, Utah
    Oct. 13, 2011 8:24 a.m.

    Keith and Joni,
    Congrats on all the well deserved but, since I know you, unsolicited and not preferred attention! The article can't tell the half of it!

  • anticounterculture Salt Lake City, Utah
    Oct. 12, 2011 10:19 p.m.

    Went to Med School with Keith. I'm from out of state and didn't know who he was or what he had done prior to Med School.

    His family reflects who he is. He was one of the most most down-to-earth, well-rounded, humble and pleasant classmates we had. I had no idea until now that he was a college ball player. He never talked about himself or his prior accomplishments. He was just one of us, for all I knew.

    The only indication I ever had of his athleticism was during the winter of our first year, when we were outside between classes throwing snowballs at the Wintrobe Building (seven or eight stories high), seeing who could throw a snowball the highest. We all made marks up around the fifth or sixth floors, some higher, some lower. Keith quietly stepped up and LAUNCHED a snowball that went up all the way, disappearing from sight, and landing on the top of the building. Impressive throw. And he repeated it several times.

    Great guy. Great family. Regards.

  • mikeinlyman Lyman, WY
    Oct. 12, 2011 10:17 p.m.

    What a great story. I was lucky enough to make several trips to Utah to watch Riley play when he was at Logan High. I plan to watch his brother play next week when they play East and in the state championship later this year if they keep rolling. Tremendous athletes, and it sounds like even better people. I have to post this story to my facebook page so more people in Wyoming can read it. Living in Wyoming I've never been a huge BYU, but I sure do respect that program. Guys like this can make you a fan. I will continue to follow these guys throughout their careers no doubt.

  • CT98 Saint George, UT
    Oct. 12, 2011 9:43 p.m.


    Come on now, You're just splitting hairs!

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    Oct. 12, 2011 8:18 p.m.

    Great article! Thanks for writing it!

  • payara OREM, UT
    Oct. 12, 2011 4:20 p.m.

    The reel question is: Does Riley fish. I wouls like to get him on my show.

  • 3grandslams Iowa City, IA
    Oct. 12, 2011 3:22 p.m.

    Great story.

  • Big Hapa Kaysville, UT
    Oct. 12, 2011 2:24 p.m.

    RE: Aloha St. George

    You forgot DJ Nelson's commitment to USU after his mission.

  • Humm?? Tropic, UT
    Oct. 12, 2011 2:19 p.m.

    Too bad that Gary Andersen wasn't around and had the program where it is today or Riley may not have transfered. HOWEVER, I think that Diondre Borel was better and I think that Chuckie Keeton is going to be much better - probably already is. So if Riley had stayed USU may not have ended up with Chuckie.

  • DodgerDoug Salem, UT
    Oct. 12, 2011 12:25 p.m.

    @ Aloha St. George

    You can add Jim McMahon to the list of Utah products. (Roy HS)

  • Aloha Saint George Saint George, Utah
    Oct. 12, 2011 11:36 a.m.

    I am interested to see how Riley does at BYU. How many quarterbacks have played for Utah schools who are from Utah. Riley Nelson and Scott Mitchell are who who I can think of. Riley has an X-Factor that I watched in HS as he demolished everyone, including are S. Utah friends. He had a chance last year, but then his should got hurt and that was that. It'll be interesting, I believe you've only seen the beginning of something great.
    I believe Chase Hansen is next. Hopefully Utah will give him a chance.

  • USAlover Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 12, 2011 11:16 a.m.

    No question Riley Nelson has the heart of a champion. Guys with guts and moxie on the field coupled with humility off the field are pretty darn easy to cheer for. The fact that Riley was so contrite over such a simple thing like "hair length" just proves what kind of kid he is.

    Best of luck to the entire family.

  • Big Hapa Kaysville, UT
    Oct. 12, 2011 10:32 a.m.

    Hey can we get more positive articles like this one. I see endless examples of inspirational stories that would elevate the "Sport Speak" arena and put the real face to the players and what motivates them. The real Firestone ESPN moment's , Jerry McGuire scene you Know.

  • McFarland Clovis, Ca
    Oct. 12, 2011 10:11 a.m.

    I am a huge BYU fan... and now a HUGE Nelson family fan:) I love his tenacity and spirit. A great leader for our team that desperatly needs one. I love article like this one that allow me to get to know people on personal level. Thanks.

  • Mark D LAS VEGAS, NV
    Oct. 12, 2011 9:42 a.m.

    I spent time with Dr. Nelson, Riley and D.J. at the "Badger 7 on 7 Elite Tournament" this past spring here in Las Vegas, and I walked away very impressed with this three-some!

    Dr. Nelson was very cordial and approachable, and even offered to assist a few Players who were injured during the competition when there were inadequate medical staff available (Dr. Nelson is a well respected Orthopedic Surgeon in Cache Valley).

    Riley stepped in to assist the offense of "Team Utah #2" - which his little Brother D.J. was the Quarterback for - a team that eventually made it to the semi-finals of the event (a pretty big achievement for those young men - considering the number of teams and level of talent at the event). D.J. was a big part of that success, and led his team with composure and competitiveness.

    I will continue to look forward to the success the Nelson Family have and will also look forward to the next opportunity I can spend time with them in any circumstance...

    They are definitely "All-American" in my book!

  • Madden Herriman, UT
    Oct. 12, 2011 9:35 a.m.

    These are the kinds of articles that represent the proper focus of athletics at BYU. Yes, the fans all want to win (me included) and be relevant on the national scene, but the reason to have that exposure is to get the message out about the great families and backgrounds of the kids that play. Players like Riley Nelson represent BYU well.

    It is nice to see starting QBs at BYU who are returned missionaries...that practically never happened before Doman in Lavell's last year. It is a personal choice, and we don't know all the reasons some players skip the mission, but the more who can serve, the better - even if it hurts athletic development.

    I especially loved after the USU game that Riley didn't talk about vindication of beating his former team, but about how much he loves a lot of the players and people in the program. An in-state rivalry should be fun and passionate, but not full of hate and contempt.

  • Last Stand Farmington, UT
    Oct. 12, 2011 9:04 a.m.

    "that caused Nelson to grow his locks a little longer than BYU's honor code allows."

    This is an incorrect statement. It's not the honor code at BYU but the Dress and Grooming standard that prohibits longer hair for men.

  • Doug10 Roosevelt, UT
    Oct. 12, 2011 8:27 a.m.

    learned lots about them in this article, makes me really glad he got his shot in the USU game. He has lots of talent and it shows in his play.

  • Red Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 12, 2011 8:22 a.m.

    Great story. I just became a Riley Nelson fan! I love families that know how to have fun together and care about each others successes.

    Great plan to not care about all the negative comments in the social media world.

    Keep doing your best. That's all you can do and that is all that matters.

  • Jacob's Dad LOGAN, UT
    Oct. 12, 2011 5:23 a.m.

    Besides being so dominant on the sports fields, and even more importantly, they are just nice, down to earth kids. It has been a real pleasure watching them play and compete. The even greater pleasure is knowing what kind of people they are. They stay true to each other and true to their convictions. It must be in their upbringing, their genes, or the water or something. Great article about a great family from one who enjoys watching them from the sidelines of both the sports fields and how they contribute to the community.

  • Big Hapa Kaysville, UT
    Oct. 12, 2011 12:13 a.m.

    This all sounds Ozzie & Harriett but no it is for real. This family has no guile, or ill will toward anyone. Keith and Joni have taught these children what is expected and they have responded because of the example they see in there parents and extended family. Of course there is always some luck involved when it comes to kids.

    " A Oi e O' Hana" Nelson !

    Your friend and advocate.