There's a temptation to describe running back Darrin Nelson (1977-81) as one of the most versatile players in Stanford history, but that does him a disservice. The word versatile conjures up images of utility infielders who aren't good enough to play every day, but are good enough to start once in a while at second base or shortstop.
Nelson wasn't good at a few things, he was great at almost everything. When he retired after the 1981 season, his name sat atop almost twenty different Stanford all-time lists, including career receptions, single-game receiving yards, and single-game, season, and career touchdowns. He still holds the school records for career rushing, single-game scoring, and career all-purpose yards.
As a freshman he became the first player in NCAA history to catch fifty passes and rush for more than a thousand yards -- and then he did it twice more. Nelson is the only player in Stanford history to be named first-team All-Conference four times, and he was a consensus first-team All-America and an Academic All-America in 1981. Not surprisingly, he is also a member of the Stanford University Hall of Fame.
He was kind enough this week to speak with me about his time at Stanford and in the NFL, as well as his current career in athletic administration. Enjoy...