Arvell Nelson
Nelson in 2017
No. 2     
Quarterback / Jack linebacker
Personal information
Date of birth: (1988-09-27) September 27, 1988 (age 31)
Place of birth: Cleveland, Ohio
Career information
College: Texas Southern
Undrafted in 2011
No regular season or postseason appearances
Career history
* Alabama Hammers (2012)
Roster status: Active
Career highlights and awards
* ArenaBowl champion (XXXI)
  • ArenaBowl XXXI MVP (2018)
  • SWAC Newcomer of the Year (2009)
  • Second Team All-KJCCC (2008)
Comp. / Att.     926 / 1,525
Passing yards     11,427
TDINT     220-47
QB rating     107.13
Rushing TDs     52
Stats at

Arvell Nelson (born September 27, 1988) is an American football quarterback and linebacker for the Washington Valor of the Arena Football League (AFL). He was signed by the Alabama Hammers as an undrafted free agent in 2012. He played college football at University of Iowa, before transferring to Fort Scott Community College and Texas Southern University.[1]

Early lifeEdit

Nelson attended Glenville High School in Cleveland, Ohio, where he was a quarterback for the Tarblooders football team.[2] Nelson's quarterback play landed him scholarship opportunities at Iowa, Michigan State, North Carolina, Syracuse, Tennessee and Wisconsin.[3]

Name Hometown High school / college Height Weight 40 Commit date
Arvell Nelson
Cleveland, Ohio Glenville High School 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m) 171 lb (78 kg) 4.9 Jan 18, 2006 
Scout:3/5 stars   Rivals:3/5 stars   ESPN grade: 73
Overall recruiting rankings: Scout: 24 (QB)   Rivals: 22 (QB), 32 (OH)  ESPN: 80 (QB), 31 (OH), 81 (Midwest)
  • ‡ Refers to 40 yard dash
  • Note: In many cases, Scout and Rivals may conflict in their listings of height, weight and 40 time.
  • In these cases, an average of the two was taken. ESPN grades are on a 100-point scale.


College careerEdit


Nelson choose to commit to the University of Iowa,[4] where he redshirted during his freshman season. As a redshirt freshman in 2007, Nelson was given the opportunity to compete with Jake Christensen for the Hawkeyes starting quarterback spot, but Christensen won, and Nelson was named the team's backup quarterback. Nelson saw his first college playing time in the Hawkeyes second game of the season, a 35–0 victory over Syracuse. Nelson completed his only pass attempt for 12 yards.[5] Nelson would later be moved to wide receiver, losing the backup quarterback position to Ricky Stanzi. Nelson was dismissed from the Hawkeyes football team by head coach Kirk Ferentz.[6]

Fort ScottEdit

In 2008, Nelson enrolled at Fort Scott Community College, where he joined the football team as a safety. Nelson also saw time playing quarterback, but his play at safety lead him to being named second team All-Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference.[7]

Texas SouthernEdit

Nelson choose to enroll at Texas Southern University in 2009, where he was named the starting quarterback for the Tigers.[8] Nelson was named the Southwestern Athletic Conference Newcomer of the Year after finishing second in the conference in passing yards and passing touchdowns.[9] In 2010, Nelson returned as the starter for the Tigers, and lead them to a west division title. Nelson however missing the SWAC Championship Game due to an NCAA violation.[10] The Tigers ended up winning the SWAC Championship Game without Nelson,[11] The NCAA later revoked the teams championship due to a major sports violation.[12]

Professional careerEdit

Nelson was rated the 51st best quarterback in the 2011 NFL Draft by[13]

Pre-draft measureables
Ht Wt 40-yd dash 10-yd split 20-yd split 20-ss 3-cone Vert Broad BP
6 ft 4 in 224 lb 4.96 s 1.76 s 2.93 s 4.42 s 7.06 s 29 in 8 ft 8 in 6 reps

Alabama HammersEdit

After going undrafted in the 2011 NFL Draft, Nelson signed with the Alabama Hammers of the Professional Indoor Football League (PIFL). Nelson was named the team's starting quarterback for the first eight games of the season, before being replaced by Tony Colston.[14]

Spokane ShockEdit

Nelson was assigned to the Spokane Shock of the Arena Football League (AFL) on November 8, 2012.[15] Nelson was brought in to compete for playing time at quarterback, with former Shocker starter Kyle Rowley departing for the Orlando Predators. Nelson made the team as a backup to Erik Meyer.[16] Nelson lined up at a multitude of positions for the Shock, making his debut as a quarterback, only to run the football. It wasn't until the Shock's Week 11 game against the San Jose SaberCats when Nelson attempted his first pass. Nelson finished the season with 5 touchdown passes on 16-of-20 attempts, while also getting 6 rushing touchdowns, and 4 receiving touchdowns.

The Shock picked up their rookie option on Nelson in September 2013.[17]

Pittsburgh PowerEdit

File:Nelson warming up.jpg

On October 3, 2013, the Shock traded Nelson and Ben Ossai for Pittsburgh Power wide receiver Mike Washington.[18] The Power folded in November 2014.[19]

Spokane ShockEdit

On January 5, 2015, Nelson was reassigned to the Shock. After spending the first 12 weeks of the season on the refused to report list, Nelson was activated on June 16, 2015.

Cleveland GladiatorsEdit

In March 2016, Nelson was assigned to the Cleveland Gladiators. He began the season at jack linebacker for the Gladiators but became the starting quarterback after injuries to Chris Dieker and Dennis Havrilla.[20][21] He made his first start at quarterback for the team on April 29, 2016 after Havrilla was injured, throwing for 332 yards and six touchdowns in a 76–56 loss to the Orlando Predators.[21][22] Nelson threw for 3,425 yards and 70 touchdowns in 2016. On March 25, 2017, Nelson was placed on recallable reassignment. Nelson was assigned to the Gladiators on April 12, 2017. Nelson made his first start of the season for the Gladiators on April 22, 2017. Nelson was the third different starting quarterback the Gladiators had used in three games.

Richmond Roughriders Edit

Nelson signed with the Richmond Roughriders of the American Arena League in April 2018.[23]

Washington ValorEdit

Nelson was assigned to the Washington Valor on May 29, 2018.[24]He led the Valor to a 69-55 victory in ArenaBowl XXXI despite their winning only two regular-season games and was named the ArenaBowl Most Valuable Player.

AFL statisticsEdit

Year Team Passing Rushing
Cmp Att Pct Yds TD Int Rtg Att Yds TD
2013 Spokane 16 20 80.0 162 5 0 140.00 14 24 4
2014 Pittsburgh 7 13 53.8 67 1 0 87.66 11 42 2
2015 Spokane 101 175 57.7 1,104 18 7 85.51 33 86 7
2016 Cleveland 261 439 59.5 3,425 70 11 113.28 59 211 11
2017 Cleveland 242 378 64.0 3,084 61 13 114.68 51 221 12
2018 Washington 129 212 60.8 1,509 27 7 0.00 26 127 6
2019 Washington 170 288 59.0 2,076 38 9 101.27 45 145 10

Career 926 1,525 60.7 11,427 220 47 107.13 239 856 52

Stats from ArenaFan:[25]


  1. Jerry DiPaola (March 6, 2014). "Journey led Nelson to Power". Trib Total Media, Inc.. Retrieved March 7, 2014.
  2. Todd Stumpft (November 22, 2004). "Glenville does it again". Cleveland Browns. Retrieved November 17, 2014.
  3. "Arvell Nelson". Yahoo!. Retrieved November 17, 2014.
  4. "National Signing Day: Time to sign on the dotted line for high school standouts". wkyc-tv, Inc.. February 1, 2006. Retrieved November 17, 2014.
  5. "Christensen throws 4 TD passes to lead Iowa past Syracuse 35-0". USA TODAY. September 8, 2007. Retrieved November 17, 2014.
  6. "Iowa Dumps Glenville's Nelson". March 7, 2008. Retrieved November 11, 2014.
  7. "KJCCC All Conference Football Team". Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference. Retrieved November 17, 2014.
  8. Doug Lesmerises (November 11, 2009). "Ohio State-Iowa and Glenville's Arvell Nelson: what could have been: Ohio State Insider". Northeast Ohio Media Group. Retrieved November 17, 2014.
  9. Rodney Bush (December 9, 2009). "Nelson Earns Newcomer of the Year Honors and Four Tigers Named to All-SWAC Team". Inside Black College Sports. Retrieved November 17, 2014.
  10. Jerome Solomon (December 11, 2010). "QB Arvell Nelson ineligible for TSU in SWAC title game". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved November 17, 2014.
  11. Doug Segrest (December 11, 2010). "SWAC Championship Game: Big defense, backup QB deliver Texas Southern victory against Alabama State". Alabama Media Group. Retrieved November 17, 2014.
  12. Steve Eder (October 9, 2012). "Texas Southern Is Penalized By the N.C.A.A.". The New York Times. Retrieved November 17, 2014.
  13. "Arvell Nelson". Retrieved August 29, 2016.
  14. Reggie Benson (June 6, 2012). "Alabama Hammers notebook: Quarterback change could be coming". Alabama Media Group. Retrieved November 17, 2014.
  15. "SHOCK HAVE BEEN ASSIGNED FALAKISENI AND NELSON". Spokane Shock. November 8, 2012. Retrieved November 17, 2014.
  16. "Shock Make Final Roster Cuts". WorldNow and KHQ. March 18, 2013. Retrieved November 17, 2014.
  17. Ryan Eucker (September 10, 2013). "Shock Reload Roster For 2014". Spokane Shock. Retrieved November 17, 2014.
  18. Jerry DiPaola (October 3, 2013). "Power trade record-setting WR Washington to Spokane". Trib Total Media. Retrieved November 17, 2014.
  19. DiPaola, Jerry (November 17, 2014). "Power fold for now; AFL remains hopeful of keeping franchise viable". Archived from the original on December 21, 2014. Retrieved December 20, 2014.
  20. "Gladiators hold on to defeat Tampa Bay, 41-28". April 9, 2016. Retrieved April 30, 2016.
  21. 21.0 21.1 "Cleveland Gladiators fall to Orlando Predators, 76-56". April 29, 2016. Retrieved April 30, 2016.
  22. "Gladiators Drop First Road Game, Fall To Soul In Philadelphia 67-50". April 23, 2016. Retrieved April 30, 2016.
  23. "Roughriders sign former Cleveland Gladiators AFL Star Arvell Nelson". Retrieved April 9, 2018.
  24. "Transactions". Retrieved May 31, 2018.
  25. "Arvell Nelson". Retrieved August 5, 2017.

External linksEdit

Template:Arena Football League starting quarterbacks navbox Template:Washington Valor roster navbox Template:Spokane Shock starting quarterback navbox Template:Cleveland Gladiators starting quarterback navbox Template:Washington Valor starting quarterback navbox Template:ArenaBowl XXXI Template:ArenaBowl MVPs

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