Buffalo Bills wide receiver David Nelson felt like he never left when he paid a visit to Rider High School today.
"I walked into the locker room, and I remembered right my locker was located," Nelson said. "You never forget your high school teammates. You never forget the moments you share with those guys. High school is where it started for me."
The 25-year-old won a state championship with as a Petrolia Pirate in 2002. He then spent his junior and senior seasons as a Rider Raider, catching 91 passes for 1,641 yards and 18 touchdowns as a senior.
A pair of national championships followed at the University of Florida. He's played two seasons for the Bills, with 92 receptions for 1,011 yards and eight touchdowns.
Nelson returned home for the first time today since suiting up in an NFL uniform.
"Coming back here, seeing these guys practice on this field, a lot of memories came back," Nelson said. "It's a surreal feeling being back."
Nelson joined fellow alumni Markelle Martin, a senior safety at Oklahoma St., and Shavodrick Beaver, a junior quarterback at Midwestern St. and formerly at Tulsa, at Rider High School. The trio shared advice on a little bit everything, from running routes, covering receivers to recruiting.
"This is an exciting time right now, because this is our family doing this," Rider head football coach Jim Garfield said.
Martin, who's fresh off the NFL Combine, says he never thought he'd be in these shoes. Four years ago, he was a senior looking to go on to the next level.
"To come back and just give a little bit of advice, it instills hope in them," he said. "Anything we can do to give back - time, effort, anything - it helps."
Nelson is an open book to these current group of Raiders, giving out his phone number to anyone who wants it.
"I just look at is as someone's who's been in their shoes," he said. "I want to be that guy, like their big brother."