By: Colin Lacy
TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services
In the off-season, it was well thought that rising senior Will Nelson would be the heir apparent to take over as QB1 for the Southeast Bulloch Yellow Jackets.
After excelling as a two-year starter at safety for the Jackets, Nelson was tasked with learning and leading a completely revamped offense for SEB that made the move back to the split-back veer.
While that would be more than enough for many 16–17-year-olds, it’s far from all Nelson was focused on.
He had just completed his junior season for Southeast Bulloch Baseball, while also being an active member of numerous clubs and activities including Beta Club, National Honors Society and Future Business Leaders of America among others.
Was that enough for Nelson? Nope!
Last spring and into the summer, Nelson applied, interviewed, and was named one of two representatives for 4A on the 2023-24 GHSA Student-Athlete Advisory Council.
The GHSA Student-Athlete Advisory Council (SAAC) is a 20-person panel made up of student-athletes from all over the state of Georgia that are selected by a group of judges after a rigorous interview process.
Two representatives from each classification along with four at-large members make up the council each year. The SAAC is tasked with creating the connection between student-athletes, the GHSA Office, officials, and everyone that has a hand in high school sports to help promote sportsmanship and leadership.
“We’re just trying to influence a positive attitude and atmosphere around high school sports,” said Nelson. “We also want to push respect referee, and associates that help us, and spend their time to help us play our game and keep us safe during the game.”
The selection process begins with a full application process and must meet the minimum requirements that the applicant must be involved in at-least one club or school organization in addition to playing at-least one sport at the school. After the application, comes the interview process where judges from all across the state that will be making the final decision.
This year, 116 applications were sent in from all corners of the peach state to select the 20-person council with Nelson and Sanaaya Thompson from Rutland High School getting the nod for the 4A classification.
“It defiantly means a lot to me to be able to represent not only SEB, but all of 4A,” said Nelson. “It can be a lot of pressure, but it’s an honor for sure.”
The GHSA SAAC will be voting on a couple yearly awards including the Student Section of the Year, as well as participating in a leadership conference in the winter.
All the off the field accomplishments and responsibilities haven’t taken away from his performance on the field leading Southeast Bulloch to a good start midway through the year.
He is the second leading rusher for the Jackets, behind senior running back Kyon Taylor and scored the first 3 rushing touchdowns of the season.
Multiple coaches around the SEB program have called Nelson a “Gamer Winner”. The confidence he brings on and off the field is incredibly impressive and is just the type of leader you would want for your program.
There are many words that can describe or label Will Nelson. Quarterback. Leader. Student-Athlete. SAAC member. Son. Friend.
And somehow, he finds time to juggle all of them, and do it well. Free time? Who needs it!