Riley Nelson
Quarterback 13
199 lbs.
Last School
Utah State
Roster Years

Career Summary

Riley Nelson transferred to BYU after a standout freshman season as team captain at Utah State. As a three-time letterman at BYU, he saw action in 32 games and had 19 starts. He completed 324 of 560 passes for 4,032 yards and rushed for 858 yards on 226 attempts. Nelson also threw 35 touchdowns and ran for six scores during his BYU career. As a junior, Nelson's quarterback rating of 153.93 was ranked No. 14 in BYU single-season history. He was named to several all-independent teams and award watch lists as a Cougar. See the recognition, yearly profile and stats tabs for more details. 


  • Parents are Keith and Joni Nelson
  • Father played football at USU
  • Speaks Spanish
  • Grandson of Rod Tueller, former Utah State men's basketball coach (1980-88) and athletic director (1985-92)
  • Has two brothers and one sister
  • Served an LDS Mission to Barcelona, Spain
  • Majored in Spanish

Before BYU

  • Accounted for 84 touchdowns and more than 4,000 yards passing as a senior at Logan HS
  • Parade All-American and Deseret News Mr. Football for the state of Utah in 2005
  • Held nine state records including career total touchdowns (130), career passing touchdowns (79), season completions (277), season passing yards (4,041), season passing touchdowns (53), season total touchdowns (84), season total yards (5,815), single game completions (38) and single game touchdown passes (seven)

At Utah State

  • Elected a team captain for the 2006 season at Utah State University as a true freshman
  • Competed in eight games and started seven, completing 55-percent of his passes for 925 yards and six touchdowns while rushing for 290 yards
BYU Hall of Fame

Freshman Year

Sophmore Year 2009

  • Earned letterman honors as a sophomore
  • Saw action in seven games
  • MWC Scholar-Athlete and Academic All-MWC
  • Totaled 99 yards passing on 7-of-10 attempts
  • Threw for his first career touchdown against Florida State
  • Threw a season-long pass of 31-yards against the Seminoles
  • Rushed for 122 yards on 21 attempts, averaging 5.8 yards per carry
  • Recorded rushing touchdowns against Tulane, UNLV and Wyoming.
Junior Year 2011

  • Earned lettermn honors as a junior
  • Played in 12 games and started seven
  • Yahoo! Sports All-Independent Team, Phil Steele All-Independent First Team, FBS All-Independent Team
  • Took over starting quarterback duties after five games and led BYU to a 6-1 record as a starter
  • Completed 116 of 202 passes for 1,717 yards, 19 touchdowns and 7 interceptions
  • Quarterback rating of 153.93 is 14th in BYU single-season history
  • Added 392 rushing yards and one touchdown on 88 carries, averaging 4.5 yards per carry
  • Came in with 5:06 left in third quarter vs. Utah State, trailing 24-13 and led BYU back for a 27-24 win with a 13-yard touchdown pass with :11 seconds remaining and completed 10 of 14 passes for 144 yards, two touchdowns and had 11 rushes for 62 yards vs. Utah State
  • In first four starts led BYU to 3-1 record and had at least 215 passing yards and 60 rushing yards each game
  • Threw three touchdown passes each of his first three starts
  • Suffered rib and lung injuries vs. Idaho but managed to complete 4 of 7 passes for 56 yards and one touchdown before leaving game
  • Had a career-best passing game at Hawai'i, completing 25 of 37 passes for 363 yards and three touchdowns
  • Led BYU to comeback victory over Tulsa in Armed Forces Bowl with a game-winning drive feautring a fourth-and-nine rush for 14 yards to set up a game-winning touchdown pass from two yards out on a fake spike play with :11 seconds remaining
Senior Year 2012

  • Team captain
  • Earned letterman honors
  • Played in 10 games, starting nine
  • Completed 181 of 308 passes for 2,011 yards, 13 touchdowns and 13 interceptions and rushed for 196 yards on 86 attempts with one touchdown
  • Went 25 of 36 for 285 yards and two touchdowns in season opener vs. Washington State
  • Topped 300 yards twice
  • Completed 67.9 percent (19 of 28) at Georgia Tech with one touchdown and rushed for another
  • Threw three touchdown passes vs. Idaho
  • Named to the Davey O'Brien Award and Maxwell Award watch lists
  • FBS Independent Offensive Player of the Week, week of Sept. 3
  • Named to NFF Hampshire Honor Society
Graduate Year

Redshirt Year 2010

Medical Redshirt Year 2010

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  • \r\n Started the first three games of the season before undergoing season-ending surgery to repair a shoulder injury
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  • \r\n One of 11 players in the country named to the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team, recognizing service, academics and on-field performance
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