California prep QB commits to Hawaii
Corey Nielsen has been a regular visitor to Hawaii over the years, but this trip turned out to be particularly rewarding.
Nielsen, a prolific California prep quarterback, accepted a scholarship offer from Hawaii yesterday morning. He participated in the first two days of the Hawaii Football Skills Camp and said he was offered a scholarship Tuesday night.
"It was always a goal to come to UH, they've been my number one school for a long time," Nielsen said before returning to Cerritos yesterday. "So when they offered I couldn't pass it up."
Nielsen (5-foot-11, 185 pounds) led the state in passing as a junior at Gahr High School with 4,363 yards, tossing 35 touchdowns against five interceptions. He said he had scholarship offers from Arizona, UNLV and Idaho.
His mother is a Punahou graduate and much of her side of the family lives here.
"I've been a big fan ever since Timmy Chang was here and I'm excited to be a part of the Coach Mack era," said Nielsen, who made annual trips to Hawaii to visit. "I was watching every game. I had my grandma tape the games for me and send them back so I knew what was going on."
Nielsen had been in contact with UH coaches and viewed this week's camp as an opportunity pick up some pointers while displaying his skills for the Warrior staff.
"It always an audition when you're in front of coaches," he said, "when they see you in person and see what you can do."
Nielsen, a 4.0 student, was named most valuable player of the San Gabriel League and said Gahr runs a similar passing attack to UH's run-and-shoot system. He completed 65 percent of his passes and went 21-for-23 with six scores in a season-opening win over Valley Christian last September.
Along with having family here, Nielsen will be familiar with at least one of his new teammates when he arrives. He threw passes to Saint Louis receiver Billy Ray Stutzmann, who committed to UH on Monday, during the camp.
"He was real cool. I'm happy he committed so we'll be going to school together," Nielsen said.