Meeting the team: defensive player No. 16

OU starting linebacker Corey Nelson

NORMAN, Okla. — Sooners Illustrated presents yet another day getting you acquainted with the defense.

Player: Corey Nelson

Hometown: Dallas, Texas

Class: Junior

Height & Weight: 6-foot-1, 219 pounds

Likely position on fall depth chart: Starting linebacker

The rundown: Along with Franklin Shannon, Nelson is the other Sooner linebacker from Skyline High School. And since arriving from there as the nation's No. 12 backer, he has played in all 25 games over the last two years. He finished with the team's fifth best total of 60 tackles, including 8.5 for loss and 5.5 sacks last season. That sack total placed him second-best all-time amongst OU linebackers. He had six or more tackles in five of the final six games and also racked up six pass breakups and a fumble recovery in the 2011 season.

Expectations for 2012: Nelson should likely finish in the top five to six again in tackles. The Sooners would appreciate that sack total again, which is possible but would be impressive at his position two years in a row. He'll find his name on the All-Big 12 team, but likely not on the first team because of the strength of linebackers in this league, including Arthur Brown, A.J. Klein, Jake Knott and OU teammate Tom Wort, among others. Nelson will also be charged with the leadership role now as an upperclassman.

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