While Nehlen faces plenty of competition, there are also plenty of opportunities for receivers. At Oklahoma State last season, Holgorsen's offense produced 10 players with at least double-digit catches. A year earlier in Houston, there were 12 such players.
"I just love how the offense is spread around. Anyone at any time can make plays,'' Nehlen said. "The ball can go to Tavon inside or outside, to Tyler inside, to me outside. Anybody can make plays and the defense has a tough time guarding everybody . . . But it's a simple. It's not organic chemistry or anything.''
Nehlen, by the way, is taking organic chemistry, so he knows.
Lined up side by side with the rest of the receivers, Nehlen might not be the one who stands out, save for the fact that he's the tall, lanky walk-on from Morgantown. But he says not to be fooled by appearances.
"I'm definitely a better athlete than I was when I came here. I can jump higher, I'm faster, all of that,'' Nehlen said. "But this offense is all about being in the right spot. You don't necessarily have to be the fastest. It's about getting in the right spot and hoping the quarterback finds you. And if you're open, he will get you the football.
"And I don't think anybody underestimates me. I think I've proven through the spring and the summer that I'm a good athlete and I'm ready to step on the field and play.''
In order to do that when it counts, though, is different than doing it in the spring.
"Just keep making plays,'' Nehlen said when asked what he needs to do to avoid being lost in the shuffle. "The biggest thing about this offense is if you make plays, you'll be on the field and if you don't, you'll be on the sidelines. I just have to keep making plays, keep working hard, keep doing all the little things like blocking.
"I can only judge myself and what I'm capable of doing. And I feel I'm capable of making plays in this offense and really helping this team out. I really feel like there's a position for me out there.''
Reach Dave Hickman at 304-348-1734 or dphickm...@aol.com.