Nelson also returned an interception 24 yards for a touchdown in that win at Notre Dame.
The Skyline (Dallas) High product was considered one of the nation's top linebacker recruits in the class of 2010. He was committed to Texas A&M until signing day, when he flipped to the Sooners.
In the spring of 2011, Stoops said Nelson looked like “the best player out there on defense ... In fact, it's not even close.”
Nelson, like all OU linebackers, struggled late last season, when defensive coordinator Mike Stoops' schemes essentially took them off the field for long stretches of games against high-octane, spread offenses.
He admitted last spring that he considered leaving OU, but was convinced to stay by coaches who insisted he would be a major part of the 2013 defense.
Through five games, that promise held true. Sophomore Frank Shannon and Nelson are the two leading tacklers on the team, and OU has kept at least two linebackers on the field virtually at all times.
During fall camp, Nelson heaped praise on the young OU linebackers, especially Alexander and sophomore Eric Striker, who has started four games this year.
“Eventually, they're going to be the face of the OU linebacker corps and the OU defense in general these upcoming years,” Nelson said. “Those guys have really stepped to the plate and have really been making plays.”