UPDATE: FIU was first, but now Kansas is in the mix for Freedom DE/TE Aaron Nielsen

Freedom's Aaron Nielsen, a 6-foot-4, 210-pound defensive end/tight end who has hovered just below the recruiting radar long enough, finally got his first college scholarship offer last week from FIU.

But on Friday, he received his first BCS offer from the University of Kansas and he's feeling a lot more comfortable with the recruiting process.

"I think it's awesome that I'm finally getting scholarship offers," Nielsen said. "I waited a long time for it. (Kansas) called me a few weeks ago and I didn't know they were looking at me too seriously."

Apparently they were. Coach Robert Wimberly visited Nielsen at the school and the Jayhawks have been on him since.

FIU was his first offer last week, and that was plenty of relief for Nielsen, who looks like he'll be playing defensive end in college.

"It's always good to get that first one … I really didn't know," Nielsen said of the Panthers' interest.

Teammate OL Josue Joseph received an offer from FAU a week before that, and Nielsen was starting to wonder about his lack of offers as the spring session was winding down.

"He got his and I was just kind of waiting around for it," said Nielsen said of Joseph.

Nielsen, No. 24 on the Sentinel's 2011 Central Florida Super60, said his recruitment has been pretty even between those wanting him for a tight end and those wanting him on defense.

"I'd say evenly split. It just depends on each team's needs," he said. "(At FIU) I'd be playing defensive end there … but I'll play anything to help the team."

Duke, USF, UCF, and FAU have all also expressed interest.

A lifelong UCF fan, Nielsen said if the Knights came kocking, it would make things a whole lot differnt in his decision making,

"If UCF gives me an offer I'd really have some thinking to do. I also still have to do some touring to figure out which school I want to go."

And with two offers in hand, he's sure to start getting plenty now.

"The first one was a real relief, now this one being a BCS conference, that's cool," Nielsen said.

"For now it seems like I can focus on just playing football a lot more. I can actually worry about making my team better for the season."

Nielsen said he was impressed with his team's play in the spring game against Winter Park.

"We were pretty active on defense ... I think we had one or two sacks and I was impressed as a whole by our defense," Neilsen said. "We only let them score 7 points and they are supposed to be the No. 5 team in the area. ( Sam Richardson) is a good QB and he'll continue to get better and better. They had a bit of a rough spring game."

Chris Hays is the Sentinel's recruiting coverage coordinator and can be reached at chays@orlandosentinel.com.

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