Featured Lion: Dylan Nelson
This feature article is not about Dylan Nelson helping Galileo win the 2009-2010 football and baseball championships. It’s not about him winning 2009 and 2010 AAA Baseball Player of the Year and 2009 Football Player of the Year. It is definitely not about his Madden, COD, or Mario Kart skills. This interview is about the transition of a high school student athlete to a community college and finally making onto a D1 university team. Dylan has officially gone from Galileo high school legendary lore to College of San Mateo versatility to his next stop, Cal Berkeley bear country.
THE DYLAN NELSON INTERVIEW
Thank you for coming, please stand up and raise your right hand and repeat after…?
Are you serious?
No, not really. Ok let’s get started shall we?
Please do. I parked at Pat’s house. You know how that is.
No I don’t. How is that?
Well, you know, Pat and cars. Throw Max in there and add a little of Shaun and BAM! Instant teepee!
Got it. Alright, question 1: what have you been doing since you graduated from Galileo?
Since I graduated from Galileo I have been attending CSM, driving to school everyday, going to practice, attending classes and playing baseball.
What are the major differences from high school and college baseball?
The biggest difference between college and high school baseball is the consistency of the talent. In high school each team has a couple of guys that are good, in college everybody was that superstar in high school. You don’t run into guys that aren’t good.
What helped you transition from high school to college as a student athlete?
The biggest thing that helped me with the transition is just going through it everyday. It’s tough but it’s doable. I mean everybody has to go through it so it’s just about making the commitment and keep grinding. It takes more discipline and more dedication because your days are longer and your not allowed as many chances or mistakes. Everything is more competitive.
What is an average day like with school and practice?
A typical day of practice starts at 1 which means you have to be dressed and down to the field by at least 1230-1245. Stretching usually starts early so practice can start on time. Practice is over around 5 with a field clean up and into the weight room by 515. We usually have a 30-40 min workout so we’re getting out of school around 610. This is 6 days a week in the season.
You are a baseball player at CSM, what position(s) do you play?
I was primarily the closer this year, coming out of the bullpen. However because of situations late in the year I got 2 starts including one in an elimination game in our super regional tournament.
What’s the worse thing about attending CSM?
The worst thing about attending CSM is the commute everyday. The last thing you want to do after a long day is to drive for 30 minutes to go home just to have to drive back the next morning.
You’ve always played baseball but do you miss football at all? If you had to pick right now, would you play football for Cal or baseball?
I miss football everyday. With being away from the game you start to appreciate not having the bumps and bruises and soreness but there’s nothing like football. If I was good enough to keep playing football I think I would love having that opportunity, however I had my playing days and now I’d rather watch the younger generation of Lions play. Still I miss putting on the pads everyday and wearing the helmet.
What other colleges were interested in you besides Cal? Why did you pick Cal?
I had a scholarship offer to Sacramento state about a month before Cal became interested. I liked the school and enjoyed my visit but had a gut feeling telling me to wait and see what other opportunities would present themselves. University of Arizona and USF (San Francisco) also contacted me but neither one had offered a scholarship. I chose Cal because of the prestige of the school as well as the opportunity to play in the PAC-12. I felt that it was too good of an opportunity to pass up-3 years of eligibility, closeness to home, financial aid, a guaranteed roster spot and the chance to get a degree from UC Berkeley.
What will you be bringing to Cal as a baseball player?
Hopefully I can bring my competitiveness and toughness to Cal’s baseball program. I feel that my ability to throw strikes and the flexibility to pitch out of the bullpen or as a starter can be very valuable.
What are you doing this summer in prepping for Cal?
This summer I started playing for the Omaha Spirit in the MNK league and the Northwoods league. I have been taking advantage of not having school and try to work out at least 2 hours a day in the gym.
What are some goals for attending Cal as a student?
I want to earn a degree and continue my streak of not failing a class.
Was Cal a school you considered or even thought about when you were at Galileo?
My dad always thought it’d be pretty cool if I could go play at Cal but I never thought it would actually happen. I just took the opportunity that was given to me and worked as hard as I could to be the best I could be at the place I was. I kind of figured that everything else would take care of itself.
What is the best advice you can give to any high school player trying to move on to college for any sport?
The best advice that I can give is; if you are trying to become a college athlete, do it for the love of the game. Do it because you are 100% sure that is what you want to be and give it everything you have. It’s going to be a challenge and just because you were successful in high school does not mean anything in college. You have to start all over and be open to learn and develop into a collegiate. Lastly, always believe in your ability. You had enough ability to make it to college so believe in yourself and always know that you were good enough to make it to college so what reason is there not to make it IN college.
About your family, everyone is an athlete, what is it like at home?
Our home has somebody always coming from or going to a sporting event. I feel like we are a normal family and we all get along very well.
Recently it’s been rumored that you are “Kyle’s brother”, it used to be the other way around, how do you feel about that?
I’ve always known Kyle has more natural ability than I do so I guess it was just a matter of time. He’s 2 championships behind so I’m not worried about what people are thinking. We’re both really “Kaitlyn’s brothers” if you want to talk about who the most famous one is.”
Did you ever think about growing your hair out like Kyle?
I will never grow my hair out like Kyle but I did have a beard for about 2 months that was Brian Wilson-esque.
Something people don’t know is that you are a quarter chinese (so is Kyle but he doesn’t look anything close), what is one thing you’ve gained from the Chinese side of your family?
My mom had always stressed the importance of our Chinese side of the family. I think the most important thing I have gained from being a quarter Chinese is understanding that everyone is diverse and race has nothing to do with who a person is.
What do you miss most about Galileo?
I miss being without my football teammates most. At Galileo we were able to spend everyday together and I miss having that brother-ship. The time spent with that group of guys will always be one of the funniest times of my life.
“Funniest”? You mean “funnest”?
No I mean “funniest”. You know how that is with Pat and fun times. Throw Max in there and add some of Shaun…
Got it. Speaking of Shaun, what is your favorite food when you travel for baseball?
My favorite food when on the road for baseball is a good sandwich or burger. Something hearty that will leave you feeling good and full.
What are your currently most played music artists?
I listen to J Cole a lot lately. But I also have Tupac, Eminem, Wiz Khalifa, Mac Miller, J Boog, and various country music on my iPod. I like to keep a good mix.
No Jay Chou?
If you can pick one sport other than baseball or football to be good at what would it be? Why?
I always wanted to be a good basketball player but it never really clicked for me. I guess I would like to be good at tennis because my mom really enjoys watching it and I feel that I could show my world class quickness on the tennis court.
Your mom was an all-city tennis player at McAteer High, she’d probably kick your butt?
I think I have a chance. I mean, how hard can it be. If I can hit a small ball with a skinny stick, I can definitely hit a green ball with a big racket.
Sounds like a challenge?
Haha, no way! I have no chance.
Thank you for your time and good luck across the Bay.
Not a problem. See you at the games.
Dylan Nelson everyone. Brother of Kyle who is a brother of Kaitlyn. Like the Nelsons but they don’t sing, they play sports.
(FYI: “Jay Chou” = chinese pop singer who played Kato in the new Green Hornet movie.)