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OU's Dominique Franks declares for NFL Draft

BY JAKE TROTTER Published: January 6, 2010

"We’ve seen him come back here a few times. The players still here, he could give them a lot of dreams and hopes and aspirations for the future.”

OU’s 2010 future could hinge on whether anyone else joins Franks, quarterback Sam Bradford and defensive tackle Gerald McCoy in leaving early for the draft.

Defensive end Jeremy Beal, linebacker Travis Lewis, safety Quinton Carter, receiver Ryan Broyles and running back DeMarco Murray are all eligible for the draft as either juniors or third-year sophomores. The deadline for players to declare is Jan. 15.

But even if everyone else comes back, Franks’ departure leaves a big hole at cornerback.

Most likely, the Sooners will fill it by inserting freshman Demontre Hurst on one side and junior Jonathan Nelson on the other.

In the Sun Bowl, Hurst replaced Jackson, who was sidelined after suffering a concussion in practice the week of the game.

Hurst played well throughout, and batted down Stanford’s final pass to seal OU’s 31-27 win.

Nelson began his career as a corner, but had battled injuries his first three years in Norman.

But finally healthy, Nelson emerged midway through the season at strong safety, beating out Sam Proctor for the starting spot.

Despite only starting half the season, Nelson finished eighth on the team with 46 tackles. He also came up with three interceptions.

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