BROOKINGS-Kanin Nelson's second spring was more competitive than his first spring, and that is fine with him.
The Mitchell native is one of six quarterbacks on the South Dakota State University football team and he's in the hunt for the No. 2 spot-behind returning Missouri Valley Football Conference Offensive Player of the Year Taryn Christion.
After graduating early from high school, Nelson joined the Jacks last season during the spring and redshirted during the 2016 campaign.
He received a bulk of the No. 2 team snaps during this year's spring game.
"This spring was just more easy going," Nelson said. "There was a lot more quarterbacks here than last spring. We only had two. So this spring, it has been a lot more competitive."
The competition aspect is what drives the former Kernel.
"I really enjoy that part," he said. "Because you learn from everybody and competition only makes you better from the top to the bottom. I have really enjoyed that so far."
The 6-foot-4, 205-pound Nelson had one final chance to compete during SDSU spring game on Saturday at Dana J. Dykhouse Stadium in Brookings.
"I think he feels a little more pressure because there is the chance to be the true No. 2, but that is also exciting and to get better you always have to have pressure," SDSU coach John Stiegelmeier said. "I am excited about his progress and how he played."
Nelson finished 3-of-6 for 83 yards, including a 65-yard touchdown pass to Skyler Monaghan that put the Rabbits ahead of the Jacks 14-6. The Rabbits consisted of SDSU's first-team defense and second-team offense. The Jacks were the first-team offense and the second-team defense.
Nelson also took snaps with the No. 1 offense and also connected with All-American receiver Jake Wieneke for a 27-yard reception.
Senior quarterback Dalton Douglas completed 5-of-7 for 99 yards. Douglas and Nelson are projected to be the main quarterbacks battling for the No. 2 spot.
Nelson didn't see many reps in the second half, as younger quarterbacks took more snaps.
But Nelson entered on the game's last drive with 39 seconds left as the Jacks started at their own 25-yard line. He quickly moved the Jacks down the field, with both a mixture of scrambles and passes.
Nelson scampered for 15 yards and ran out of bounds with 1 second on the clock at the 32-yard line.
"Those two-minute drills don't come around very often," Nelson said. "So it's fun when you get to do them."
Nelson's 32-yard heave into the end zone fell incomplete as time expired, but he still left an impression on the coaching staff.
"I think he embraced that and did a good job of that," Stiegelmeier said.
Nelson said he is going to stay in Brookings this summer and workout with the team in preparation for the 2017 season.
SDSU will open the season against Duquesne University (Pennsylvania) on Aug. 31 at Dana J. Dykhouse Stadium.