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Former Hawkeye QB returns to state to play Barnstormers

[ 0 ] July 18, 2014 |
Iowa's Trey Stross (86) gets a pat on the helmet from Arvell Nelson after catching a touchdown pass during the 2007 season.  (Register file photo)

Iowa’s Trey Stross (86) gets a pat on the helmet from Arvell Nelson after catching a touchdown pass during the 2007 season. (Register file photo)

Arvell Nelson arrived at the University of Iowa in the fall of 2006 as a strong-armed quarterback with a big frame and athleticism that caught the attention of schools such as Tennessee, Wisconsin and Michigan State before he settled on the Hawkeyes.

Saturday night he returns to the state as a member of the Arena Football League’s Pittsburgh Power, who play the Iowa Barnstormers at 7 p.m. at Wells Fargo Arena.

Nelson plays jack linebacker, quarterback and receiver with the Power. He’s second on the team in passing, third in rushing, fourth in tackles and eighth in receiving.

“He’s as athletic as any player I’ve ever had in this league,” Pittsburgh coach Ron James told arenafootball.com last month. “There’s not many things he can’t do.”

Nelson was one of two Ohio prep quarterbacks Iowa signed in 2006. Ricky Stanzi became a three-year starter who led the Hawkeyes to 26 victories. Nelson left Iowa in the spring of 2008 after being dismissed from the team following a series of off-the-field missteps.

After a stop at Fort Scott (Kan.) Community College, where he played safety, Nelson went back to throwing passes at Texas Southern. He latched on last year in the AFL with the Spokane Shock and joined the Pittsburgh Power this season.

Category: Iowa Hawkeyes Football

About Andy Hamilton: University of Iowa graduate Andy Hamilton is originally from Williams, Iowa, and started at the Des Moines Register in August after 12 years at the Press-Citizen. He covers wrestling for Hawk Central. View author profile.

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