A phone conversation with Frost — and a scholarship offer — make for a memorable day for Ainsworth’s Carter Nelson


Coach and teacher Jessi Owen had a homework assignment for Carter Nelson on Wednesday.

Call Nebraska coach Scott Frost.

Woah, right?

Nelson, a budding eight-man football star at Ainsworth, called Frost around 2 p.m. and awaiting him was a scholarship offer to play football for the Huskers.

“I wasn’t quite ready for the news, but it was very nice,” the 2024 prospect said Wednesday evening.

It was quite a day for the 6-foot-5, 205-pound multisport talent who also picked up an offer from Kansas in the morning.

It’s been quite a spring, too.

Carter picked up his first Division I football offer, from Iowa State, on April 13. A day earlier he became the first sophomore in state history to clear 7 feet in the boys high jump while tying a Class C state record.

Nelson is just a sophomore, but he has quickly become one of the state’s top athletes.

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Blessed to have received an offer from the University of Nebraska!! pic.twitter.com/aUB54DJ4oB

— Carter Nelson (@Carter83854638)

Last fall, Nelson caught 28 passes for 511 yards and eight touchdowns and made 34 tackles playing eight-man football.

On the hardwood, Nelson averaged 12.6 points, 8.7 rebounds, 4.8 assists and 3.4 blocks per contest.

He’s also a standout on the track. Nelson won a Class C high jump state title last year, and his leap of 7-0 earlier this season is tops in the state. He also has competed in the 100- and 200-meter dashes, pole vault and the throws.

“He’s a pretty rare breed, to get to a school this size, so it’s definitely a blessing for a small school,” said Owen, who is Ainsworth’s football coach. “He’s very gifted athletically in three sports.”

Though he’s excelling in track and picking up Power Five football offers, Nelson’s first love is basketball.

“You couldn’t really play tackle football when you were younger without getting hurt in some way,” Nelson said of why he gravitated toward hoops.

“Right now it’s going to be down to basketball and football (for college). We’ll just see which route is best for my future and make a decision.”

On the football field, Ainsworth takes a Swiss Army Knife approach with Carter, placing him in the wing, wideout, quarterback, defensive end and linebacker. He projects to be a tight end or wide receiver at the college level.

Nelson said it’s always been his dream to play college sports. For now, he’s focused on defending his state title in the high jump. The district meet is Thursday and state is next week at Omaha Burke Stadium, where Nelson is likely to attract a few more observers at the high jump pit.

He still made time Wednesday to embrace a fun day at school. Though the Husker coaches had been expressing interest to Nelson’s high school coaches this spring, the conversation with Frost was still surreal.

“It just shows you that everything is possible as long as you set your mind to it,” Nelson said.

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