Linebacker Frank Shannon and cornerback Aaron Colvin figure to be two of the players that will be counted on in those communication roles without Nelson.
“It will be a big difference on the field,” Franklin said. “Corey and Frank, they talk a lot to get (players) in the right places, making sure they're all in sync.
“It'll be a big role to fill.”
Stoops also said Nelson was exploring the possibility of a medical hardship with the NCAA that would give him another year of eligibility. Nelson has not redshirted, but it would appear difficult for him to gain another year of eligibility.
NCAA rules say the season-ending injury must happen in the first half of the season, which Nelson's did. But rules also specify that a player must not have played in more than 30 percent of a team's games that season. Nelson did pass that mark.
Once the waiver is denied by the Big 12, though, the conference can submit the waiver to the NCAA's Committee on Student-Athlete Reinstatement, who can review the application and can vote to approve the waiver based on “circumstances that may warrant relief from the application of the legislated waiver criteria.”