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{ Green Bay Packers rookie receiver Jordy Nelson talks about working on a farm and much more. }
Author: NFLPlayers.com Posted: 9/16/2008

Jordy Nelson, a second-round pick (36th overall) by Green Bay in April’s draft, registered the first reception of his NFL career on a 29-yard touchdown pass from Aaron Rodgers in Sunday's win over Detroit. The Kansas State product was a consensus All-America selection and one of three finalists for the Biletnikoff Award in 2007.  In this exclusive Q&A with NFLPLAYERS.com, the rookie wide receiver talks about his small-town upbringing and how he got to this point. 

Q: First of all, what was it like playing college football at Kansas State?
A: It was great and I enjoyed playing there. It’s a great atmosphere. The town’s all about their athletics. They know their players and stuff like that. So it’s a fun atmosphere and they recognize you.
Q: Do you think you accomplished what you set out to do on the collegiate level?
A: Yeah, I think it went extremely well. Probably better than I thought it would be and it got me here, so I owe the school a lot.
Q: Was there a point in high school or college that you thought, “Hey, maybe I can make a career out of football?”
A: It wasn’t until, I want to say, my last year when I thought if I had a big year I could be in the situation I am in now. It turned out to be a great year and I’m excited to be where I am.
Q: What is it about your game that propelled you to the NFL?
A: Obviously, a lot of it is just God-given ability, just size or speed or whatnot—you can’t really do much about that. But then a lot of players and coaches influenced me on the game and taught me how to be a receiver and how to be a good role model.
Q: Did you not start out playing wide receiver in college?
A: I didn’t play receiver until three years ago. I came up as a safety. I was there (Kansas State) for a year or so and then got switched to receiver. I started [at receiver] the last three years.
Q: Why did you switch positions?
A: It was a recommendation from the coaches. Going in to K-State, they didn’t really know where to play me, offense or defense, so it was kind of up in the air to begin with. I think one of the assistant coaches mentioned it and was able to persuade the head coach that we ought to switch me.
Q: What do you think about your situation in Green Bay?
A: I love it, I think it’ll be a great time and I love the city. It’s smaller than everywhere else [in the NFL], so I’ll enjoy that because I’ve always been a small-town kid.
Q: Were you hoping for an opportunity to play in a big or small city?
A: I had a feeling I was going to have to go to a big city, but it turned out to be Green Bay, which is bigger than I’ve ever lived in and it’s definitely not the biggest there is, so I think I’ll be a good fit and hopefully we’ll be there for a long time.
Q: Where exactly did you grow up?
A: On a farm, about 20 minutes north of Manhattan, Kansas.
Q: What’s it like for an athlete to grow up on a farm?
A: I like it. It gets you outside doing something different practically every day. You’re not doing the same thing year-round. So it switches up on you, but I enjoy it, working with cattle and working in the field. It gets kind of long—long days, sometimes boring days, but it’s all enjoyable.
Q: Were you out there working on the farm at a young age?
A: Oh yeah. Growing up, my dad grew up on a farm and we’ve still got the same farm. My brother’s back there farming and it’s just kind of been a family thing and we were relied on at a young age to help out.
Q: What’s the specialty on the family farm?
A: We raise cattle and sell the bulls off to other farmers to breed their cows. We have registered Angus, so we mostly sell bulls.
Q: Did working on a farm give you a hard-working attitude?
A: Yeah, that’s right. Working on a farm, it takes a lot of hard work to be successful in it and you’ve got to be able to do things on your own and be told one thing to do and go out and do it. We wouldn’t get anything accomplished if someone always had to follow us around—that’s a waste of a person. So we did a lot of work, a lot of hard work, at a young age.
Q: What do you hope to accomplish this season?
A: I certainly want to work hard and just try to fit in and contribute in any possible way—special teams, offensively, whichever it is. I just want to help out and have a lot of successful years and that would be all that matters.
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