Jordy Ray Nelson (born May 31, 1985) is an American football wide receiver for the Green Bay Packers of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football for Kansas State University, and received All-American honors. Nelson was drafted in the second round of the 2008 NFL Draft, and has played professionally for the Packers.
Nelson was born in Manhattan, Kansas. He attended Riley County High School in Riley, Kansas, and played for the Rileyhigh school football team. During his senior year, he completed 62 percent of his passes for 1,029 yards and eight touchdowns. He also rushed for 1,572 yards, averaging 9.8 yards per carry with 25 touchdowns. He was named Flint Hills Player of the Year by the Manhattan Mercury and was a two-time first-team All-Mid-East League selection. Nelson was a first team 3A all-state football player and earned Top 22 honors in the state of Kansas as a quarterback/defensive back. In 2003, he played in the Kansas Shrine Bowl. Nelson was also an outstanding track and field athlete winning the 100 (10.63), 200 (21.64), 400 (48.79) and long jump (22-09.50) titles his senior year in Class 3A. He was also an all-state basketball player averaging 17.2 points per game his senior year for the Falcons. Nelson’s older brother Mike, a 2002 graduate of Riley, was also an all-state basketball and football player.
Nelson attended Kansas State University, where he played for coach Bill Snyder‘s Kansas State Wildcats football team from 2003 to 2007. He began his college career as a walk-on at K-State, and took his redshirt year as a member of the Wildcats’2003 Big 12 Championship team. Nelson was set to play defensive back in college, but during spring practice following his first year, Snyder moved him to wide receiver. During his sophomore campaign, Nelson caught 65 passes for 8 touchdowns, elevating expectations for the junior wide receiver, as he was listed on the Biletnikoff Award watch list. Injuries kept him off the field most of his junior year, leading to a disappointing junior season, in which he only caught 39 balls for 1 touchdown. Nelson was playing with current Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman
After going unnoticed his junior year, Nelson broke out during his senior year, and was among the nation’s best receivers. He earned consensus All-American honors, and was a finalist for the Biletnikoff Award, after catching 122 passes for 1,606 yards and 11 touchdowns. Nelson also showed his versatility by throwing 2 touchdowns and returning 2 punts for touchdowns. After the season, Nelson continued to improve his stock as an NFL wide receiver prospect for the 2008 draft. At the NFL Scouting Combine, Nelson demonstrated good speed, running an official 4.45 low time in the 40-yd dash. He also showed “hops” with a 44 inch vertical jump and a 10’6 broad jump.
Green Bay Packers
- 2008 season
On April 26, 2008 — the first day of the NFL Draft — Nelson was drafted by the Green Bay Packers with the 5th pick of the second round (the 36th overall selection). Nelson was the third receiver taken in the draft. He recorded his first touchdown reception September 14, 2008, a 29 yard pass from quarterback Aaron Rodgers. He recorded his second touchdown reception in week 14 against the Houston Texans. Nelson finished his rookie campaign with 33 receptions for 366 yards and 2 touchdowns.
- 2009 season
In 2009, Nelson played in 13 games for the Packers, catching 22 balls for 320 yards and 2 touchdowns. He also saw action as the primary kick returner for most of the year.
- 2010 season
In the 2010 season he set career-highs in receiving yards (582) and catches (45), while catching 2 touchdown passes for the third straight year. Following the injury to Aaron Rodgers against the Detroit Lions on December 12, 2010, it was revealed that Nelson also serves as the Packers’ emergency/third string quarterback.
Building on strong outings in the 2010-11 playoffs against Atlanta and Chicago, Nelson caught a 29-yard touchdown pass on third-and-1 with William Gay covering, for the first score of Super Bowl XLV. “This was Jordy last week: ‘I think we need to convert on third downs to win the game.’ … Rodgers threw a terrific pass,capping an 80-yard touchdown drive,” a live-blog reported. In the balance of the game, Nelson struggled some and made no more touchdowns. However, he recovered from a dropped pass early in the fourth quarter to make a 38-yard play on the next down, taking the Packers to the Steelers’ two-yard line. Nelson was the top receiver of the game with 9 receptions for 140 yards (both career highs), while also gaining 19 more yards on a kick return.
Nelson finished the 2011-12 regular season with career highs in touchdowns (15), receptions (68), and receiving yards (1,263). He had a career high 3 TD receptions in the season finale against the Detroit Lions, and moved into sole possession of 3rd place for most receiving TDs in a single season in Packers franchise history, behind only Sterling Sharpe (18) and Don Hutson (17). In the midst of his breakout season, Nelson signed a three year, $13.35 million contract extension on October 2nd.