January 3, 2007

All American Diary: Tyler Nielsen

After a state championship season at Humboldt, future Hawkeye Tyler Nielsen is in San Antonio this week to compete with some of the nation's best high school players in the U.S. Army All American Game. HawkeyeReport.com caught up with the 6-foot-4, 210-pound Nielsen for a Q&A session after the first two days of practice.

Q: What has it been like the first couple days?

NIELSEN: It's been really busy. We get up in the morning at like 6:45 AM. Today, we had a two-hour practice in the morning from 11 AM to 1 PM. Basically, we did some position work, some special teams, seven on seven, and then some team stuff. We had about an hour and a half off for lunch and then we did basically the same thing again in the afternoon. When we got home, we had some team meetings and watched some tape. Also, I went to a children's shelter in San Antonio today. It was for kids that have been neglected or abused and that was really neat to spend some time with them, but really sad too.

Q: Did you know you would get to do that while you were down there?

NIELSEN: Actually, I didn't know for sure if I was going to be able to do something like that. I guess we were selected to do it. It was me and just three other guys that went. Really, it was almost life changing to see those kids that were neglected by their families and left out on their own. It was kids aging from newborns to 14 years old. All the kids that were there were either brought in by the San Antonio Police or the Department of Human Services. It was just amazing that somebody would do that to those kids. It's just awful.

Q: Is that something you will obviously remember about the trip?

NIELSEN: Yeah. It's something I'll definitely remember for a long time. We signed some little foam footballs for them, had snack time with them, and then played basketball and football with them a little bit. We talked with them to about overcoming adversity and about football.

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