Upon taking the Oregon State men's basketball job in April,
Robinson, who spent the two previous seasons at Brown, did better than that in his first recruiting class, landing a surprise verbal commitment on Tuesday from 6-foot-3 guard
NCAA rules prevent Robinson from commenting on recruits before they sign a Letter of Intent. He told Nelson and his summer-league coaches that he viewed him as program-changing recruit. A strong guard comfortable posting up players as well as shooting from the outside, Nelson's versatility was said to appeal to Robinson, who brings the modified Princeton offense to Corvallis.
"I can go there and hopefully start right away and help turn the program around," Nelson said. "My goal is to be the [Pac-10] Freshman of the Year."
Oregon State was not high on Nelson's list early in the summer as he was leaning toward Ohio State (he has family in Columbus), while also waiting on an offer from UCLA. But then Robinson got the job and began a slow push to get Nelson's attention. He watched him at a tournament in Las Vegas in July and spoke with him via phone for the first time.
Shortly after that tournament, Robinson secured a commitment from
"The whole time I was up there we didn't talk about basketball once," Nelson said. "I liked that."
UCLA made a late push to land Nelson. Bruins coach
Robinson was in Santa Barbara on Tuesday, visiting Nelson at his school.