Former Redbird Nelson Makes Bengals 53-Man Roster
Sept. 5, 2009
CINCINNATI, Ohio - Former Illinois State safety Tom Nelson survived final cuts by the Cincinnati Bengals on Saturday and will begin the 2009 season as member of the team’s active roster. Nelson now joins his former teammate Laurént Robinson (St. Louis) as former Redbirds in the NFL.
The Bengals opted to keep 10 defensive backs, including Nelson and special teams ace Kyries Hebert at safety. Nelson, who had been featured along with the rest of his teammate on HBO’s documentary series “Hard Knocks,” was one of several players in training camp who was fighting for a spot on the 53-man roster.
“This is something I have worked so hard for and I have a great sense of achievement today,” said Nelson. “Playing in the NFL is something I have been striving for in a while and it looks like all the hard work at Illinois State and in camp has paid off. I look forward to contributing for the Bengals in any way I can and I am excited to take the field next weekend against Denver.”
During his ISU career, Nelson earned All-Missouri Valley Football Conference honors three times and was the league’s freshman of the year in 2005. Nelson led the Redbirds with 81 tackles, including 43 solo stops. His 15.59 yards per punt return average ranked first in the Valley, while he accumulated 24.71 yards per kickoff return, which ranked third in the conference.
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