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Darrin Milo Nelson (born January 2, 1959 in Sacramento, Californiamarker) is a former professional American football player in the National Football League.

Nelson was selected by the Minnesota Vikings in the 1st round (7th overall) in 1982 NFL Draft after graduating from Stanford Universitymarker. He spent 10 seasons with the Vikings; 1982–1989, before going to the San Diego Chargers. Nelson would spend the final nine games of the 1989 season and the entire 1990 season with the Chargers. Following his year and a half away from the Vikings, Nelson returned to the team in 1991 and stayed there for the final two years of his career, 1991–1992.

Nelson was actually traded from the Vikings to the Cowboys as part of the infamous Herschel Walker Trade in 1989. However, after refusing to report to Dallas, he was subsequently flipped to the Chargers.

As a running back, Nelson was a threat as both a runner and as receiver out of the backfield. For his career, Nelson rushed for 4,442 yards, caught 286 passes for 2,559 yards and scored 23 touchdowns (18 rushing and 5 receiving) in 152 games. He is most remembered for his dropped pass on 4th down in the 1987 NFC Championship Game.

As of 2007, Nelson works with Stanford University as a Senior Associate Athletic Director - External Relations/Development.


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