Quenton Nelson 'Surprised And Ecstatic' To Be Selected By The Colts

After wrapping up a terrific career as one of the greatest offensive linemen in Notre Dame history, Quenton Nelson will be playing his pro ball less than three hours south in Indianapolis, where the Colts made him the No. 6-overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft.

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INDIANAPOLIS —Quenton Nelson's parents took a chance when they bought a house in Indiana when he committed to play for Notre Dame back in 2013.

Now, it looks like that investment is going to pay dividends in ways the Nelsons never could've even imagined almost five years ago.

Nelson learned Thursday night that he'll be playing his professional ball a simple two-hour and 45-minute drive south of Notre Dame's campus, as the Indianapolis Colts made him their selection with the No. 6-overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft.

"I really had no idea when I was going to be picked, to be honest," Nelson said in a conference call with the Indianapolis media. "I knew I was going to be a Colt when I felt my phone buzzing in my hand and saw an Indianapolis area code, and everyone went nuts. It was an amazing time."

On the other end of that call to Nelson was Colts general manager Chris Ballard, who had no qualms about taking a player considered by many to be the top offensive line prospect to enter the NFL Draft in a span of about two decades.

Nelson — an unanimous All-American selection for the Fighting Irish last season — comes in as a presumed starter at one of the guard spots for the Colts, which is not a job he said he will take lightly.

With Indianapolis running a completely new, up-tempo offensive scheme under first-year head coach Frank Reich and coordinator Nick Sirianni, Nelson will be counted on to be a key building block in the team's mission to return to the playoffs for the first time since 2014.

"You know, I take pride in every aspect of my game, and I just never want to be the guy that lets down the unit — the offensive line, especially — and the whole offense," Nelson said. "So blocking my guy every play, and the fear that being the guy that lets down the unit is what helps me get the job done at the end of the day.

"I'm going to fight every day and play my hardest and try to keep improving every single day," he continued. "I'm really excited, because I know all the guys on the offensive line are great guys and great players. I'm really excited to get to work with them, and like I said, get this ball rolling."

Nelson — who stands at 6-foot-5 and weighs 325 pounds — is an "(elite) guard prospect with outstanding size, rare power and a block finisher who can make tape room sessions uncomfortable for most opponents," according to his NFL.com Draft Profile.

He expanded on what he feels he brings to the Colts' offense on Thursday.

"I would say that I'm a very nasty offensive lineman that wants to finish his man every play, whether it's in the run game or the pass game," Nelson said. "And I want to work together with the whole O-line and have one of the best offensive lines in the NFL, and protect one of the best quarterbacks in the game and establish a great run game."

That aforementioned quarterback, Andrew Luck, should be ecstatic about the selection of Nelson. Luck, who missed the entire 2017 season after undergoing shoulder surgery, is wrapping up an intense rehab regimen and is hoping to get back to full-time status by training camp.

Nelson said he's "never had the pleasure of meeting" Luck before, "but I know he's a great guy and a great quarterback."

"And I'm looking forward to protecting him and giving my all to him every single play, and getting on the same page with the O-line so we can protect him as best as possible," he continued. "And, yeah, I'm super excited."

Nelson's family is excited, too.

Hailing from Holmdel, N.J., they took a big chance buying a second place in Northern Indiana when Nelson committed to Notre Dame.

Almost five years later, that home will continue to be "Quenton Nelson Central."

"I'm jacked up," Nelson said. "My parents bought a house in Indiana when I committed to Notre Dame, and they don't have to move. And they're going to go to every Notre Dame game on Saturday, and then be at my NFL games on Sundays. And they're jacked up, I'm super excited and I can't wait to stay in Indiana and play in Lucas Oil Stadium."

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