Graceland University and coach Cris Welch proudly announced the signing of heralded Southern California quarterback Casey Nielsen Thursday, April 8.
The 5’11”, 180-pound, quarter-Japanese prospect from Cerritos, comes to Graceland
from Gahr High School, where the prolific passer compiled an impressive 4,406 yards and 69.6% completion rate in a year of starting for the Gladiators, throwing for 41 touchdowns to only 12 interceptions.
Nielsen led the state of California in passing in 2009, and his yardage totals saw him graduate with the #3 single season effort in California state history, and owns the Yards Per Game record in passing with 400.5, after throwing for at least 356 yards in 11 consecutive games.
Nielsen was selected as one of fifty Old Spice Redzone National Players of the Year in addition to earning honors in his home state as 1st Team All-Conference, 1st Team “Dream Team” from the Long Beach Press Telegram, 2nd Team All State from Maxpreps.com and 3rd Team All State from Calhi Sports, 2nd Team All-Southern California by Scout.com and was Cerritos Community News Player of the Year.
Nielsen was a two-year letter winner and four year honor roll student.
“Casey may be one of the most heralded recruits that we’ve signed here in 7 years,” said Welch.
“He comes from a great blood line of world class athletes. His father was a world champion taekwondo practitioner, his uncle [former Oakland Raiders QB Jon Nielsen]is a former NFL/CFL quarterback and his brother is a scholarshipped player at Hawaii.
“An outstanding student in the top of his academic class he is a great fit for Graceland and will definitely be poised to come in and make an immediate impact. We are fortunate that Casey connected with the staff and players on his weekend visit,” concluded Coach Welch.
“Graceland is a place where I can be me, everything fits,” Nielsen said. “The offense is close to what I ran in high school, and I liked all of the players I met with. Coach Welch is a great guy, he’s one of the only coaches I know who really gets to know his players, he really cares about his guys and wants the best for them.
“I chose GU because, the academics are great, I have a shot to play college ball, what else could I ask for?”