The Nelson era.
Incoming freshman Maurice Nelson will join his older brother Roosevelt Nelson this fall on the practice fields, as both players try to make their way up the two-deep depth chart.
While Roosevelt is basically assured of seeing significant playing time this season, the younger Nelson has been doing everything possible to try and avoid a redshirt year.
"I've been spending time off and on at Clemson since June," Nelson told CUTigers.com late Sunday evening. "I'm very excited and I'm ready to go. It's going to be a great year and right now I'm trying to prepare myself both mentally and physically to be ready to play."
|Maurice Nelson is one of three true freshman that are expected to compete for playing time in 2003.|
What position does Maurice think he will play this season for the Tigers? "I'll start out at rover, but I might switch to whip."
The Sumter native has been working hard this summer to prepare for college football and he knows it will be a different game. "I've been working on my pass coverage skills. I'm trying to get stronger. In college everything is faster."
Speed didn't seem to be a problem for Maurice at the high school level, where he was named to the North-South All-Star game last December after finishing his senior season with 137 tackles, eight sacks, four interceptions and five fumble recoveries.
But what about the older Nelson? How does he feel about his little brother joining him in Tiger Town?
"He feels pretty good about it and he's showing me the ropes. He's ready to play himself. It's great that he will be playing defense with me. If there is something I don't understand I can huddle with him at night to get his help."
Maurice, like most players, has high expectations for himself and the Tigers in the coming years.
"My goal is really to be a first team All-American. I think we will win 9 games or better this season. Everyone is working hard to win the ACC and go to a BCS bowl. It will be a different ball game this year- we have a lot to prove."
|After seeing significant time on special teams in 2002, Roosevelt Nelson is expecting to be an impact player at linebacker this season.|
Roosevelt, who saw action in 11 games last season and will be a redshirt sophomore for the Tigers in 2003, is pleased to have his younger brother join him at Clemson.
"It feels good to go to college with him," stated Roosevelt. "I'm being nice to him so far. I'm not giving him a hard time or anything like that."
Roosevelt, who will be backing up John Leake at Mike Linebacker, is looking forward to having a chance to get on the field with his brother. "I'm looking forward to more playing time this season. It would be exciting to get to play at the same time as Maurice."
Expectations for the coming season are high for the older Nelson as well.
"Everyone is coming in and putting forth a great effort," added Roosevelt. "If we continue to work hard and don't have any major injuries will be in good shape. The past few years we have been hurt by injuries. We can play with anyone on our schedule."
We would like to conclude by thanking Maurice and Roosevelt for taking time to share their thoughts on their unique situation and the upcoming season with CUTigers.