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Friday, May 3, 2013
Crimson Countdown: LB Corey Nelson

By Brandon Chatmon

Over the summer months, SoonerNation will take a closer look at each player on Oklahoma’s roster in our Crimson Countdown series. We will analyze each player’s impact on the program since they arrived on campus, their potential impact this fall and their long-term impact in the daily series. Starting with No. 1 Kendal Thompson, the series will go in numerical order until our final analysis of No. 99 Chaz Nelson.

Corey Nelson
Linebacker Corey Nelson didn't play much in 2012, but he has been told he's in the plans for 2013.
No. 7 Corey Nelson
Senior linebacker, 6-foot-1, 215 pounds

Impact thus far: Nelson is coming off the most disappointing year of his career. He started 10 games but finished with just 45 tackles including 3.5 tackles for loss and one sack. The Sooners' defensive schemes handcuffed his production but Nelson likely expected more from himself as a junior.

Overall the senior has been a impact player for the Sooners, starting 21 of 39 career games including 21 of 25 since his freshman season. He has 124 tackles including 13.5 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks for loss during his career. He hasn’t emerged as the star some people expected him to be but he’s been a key contributor since he stepped on campus.

Expectations for 2013: He has to be the anchor of OU’s linebacking corps and a leader on the defense as a whole. His production could be critical to OU’s chances of success this fall.

Best-case scenario in 2013: Nelson cements himself as one of the best players on OU’s defense and leads the Sooners in tackles while earning All-Big 12 honors.

Worst-case scenario in 2013: Nelson struggles as a senior and OU’s defense suffers as a result. As the lone experienced veteran of the linebackers, struggles from Nelson could be devastating to an OU defense which claims to be putting more emphasis on the linebacker position than it did in 2012.

SoonerNation's evaluation grade for Nelson: A. Barring injury or poor production, Nelson is poised to start more than 30 games in a Sooners’ uniform. If one-third of the Sooners’ recruiting class each year had a similar impact the coaching staff would be doing cartwheels.

SoonerNation’s development grade for Nelson: B+. The Sooners found a way to get him on the field as a freshman, helping him to step in smoothly to start 11 games as a sophomore. This grade fell from an A due to their ultization, or lack thereof, of Nelson’s strengths in 2012.