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OU Caravan: Linebacker Corey Nelson excited 'to be physical again'

This spring, co-defensive coordinator Mike Stoops said repeatedly that linebackers would play a greater role next season, even saying his system had done that unit ‘an injustice.'
by Jason Kersey Published: June 5, 2013


Oklahoma senior linebacker Corey Nelson appeared at OU's Caravan event in Plano, Texas, on Wednesday and was asked what about the coming season excites him the most.

“Just being able to be physical again,” Nelson said. “Being able to have that physical defensive line and that physical linebackers, and having a very, very strong front seven.”

Late last season, facing the Big 12's high-powered spread offenses, Sooner coaches opted to regularly play with only one — and sometimes zero — linebackers, replacing them with extra defensive backs.

The results weren't great; opposing offenses tallied eye popping yardage and point totals against Oklahoma. The Sooners won 50-49 and 51-48 shootouts against West Virginia and Oklahoma State, respectively, but were obliterated by Texas A&M and Heisman Trophy winning quarterback Johnny Manziel in the Cotton Bowl.

This spring, though, co-defensive coordinator Mike Stoops said repeatedly that linebackers would play a greater role next season, even saying his system had done that unit “an injustice.”

“That's something I'm really excited about and that's what I'm looking forward to this season,” Nelson said. “Just a very, very exciting outlook on what the season holds for us.”


Toby Keith made an appearance at the Dallas caravan. He wasn't on the schedule and didn't even take the stage, but Stoops took the opportunity to tell OU fans that “Big T” kept open his Bricktown restaurant Tuesday night for the Sooner softball team to celebrate.

OU won the Women's College World Series on Tuesday night, then a group of 200-300 players, staff, family and fans convened at Toby Keith's I Love This Bar & Grill.

“They have 2-300 people, keep their cooks there, have a big celebration,” Stoops said. “Just Toby and the girls singing. They'll never forget it.”

Keith said OU athletic director Joe Castiglione called Tuesday and asked if it was possible to use the restaurant in the event of a national title. So Keith said he called his restaurant manager when Keilani Ricketts hit a three-run home run in the third inning and said get ready.

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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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