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Oklahoma football: Corey Nelson's confidence soars now that linebackers are again relevant in OU's defense

In the weeks following Oklahoma's Cotton Bowl loss, Sooner coaches met with senior Corey Nelson, fessed up to some schematic gaffes and vowed to make it right moving forward.
by Jason Kersey Published: March 14, 2013

/articleid/3765913/1/pictures/1981836">Photo - OU's Corey Nelson (7) brings down KU's James Sims (29) during the college football game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the University of Kansas Jayhawks (KU) at Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium on Saturday, Oct. 20th, 2012, in Norman, Okla. Photo by Chris Landsberger, The Oklahoman
OU's Corey Nelson (7) brings down KU's James Sims (29) during the college football game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the University of Kansas Jayhawks (KU) at Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium on Saturday, Oct. 20th, 2012, in Norman, Okla. Photo by Chris Landsberger, The Oklahoman

“I absolutely believe it did,” Nelson said. “We had conversations, multiple conversations, just throughout the season, just talking about how frustrated he was, and how frustrated I was at times.”

That frustration led Nelson — who Bob Stoops said two springs ago looked like “the best player out there on defense ... In fact, it's not even close” — to entertain similar thoughts.

“I thought about it,” Nelson said. “I put it in God's hands ... God just told me it was the best decision for me to stay another year because my teammates need me.”

Coaches are glad Nelson decided to stay. He's one of Oklahoma's three defensive seniors — along with defensive backs Aaron Colvin and Gabe Lynn — with significant experience.

Defensive coordinator Mike Stoops admitted last week that his late-2012 schemes “did a little bit of injustice to our linebackers,” but said the spread-out offenses he faced left him with few better ideas.

“When you're going against four wideouts 70 percent of the game, that's extraordinary and it limits some of the things these guys can do,” Mike Stoops said. “We're gonna try to keep two linebackers on the field as much as we can in each situation.”

by Jason Kersey
OU Sports Reporter
Jason Kersey became The Oklahoman's OU football beat writer in May 2012 after a year covering high school sports and OSU recruiting. Before joining the newspaper in November 2006 as a part-time results clerk, he covered high school football for...
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