Charles Nelson’s Take on His Offense-to-Defense Transition

Interview Photos 4-20-7

In an interview for FishDuck.com on Wednesday, I spoke with Oregon’s defensive back Charles Nelson at the Hatfield-Dowling Complex in Eugene.

Nelson bolted onto the scene last year like a quick strike of lighting. His impact was fast and furious. Nelson was a true freshman last season, and was utilized by the Ducks coaching staff in a plethora of ways. The speedster saw time at wide receiver, special teams, and he even took some snaps in the backfield with 11 rushing attempts.

Charles Nelson will look to handle the secondary next season.

Craig Strobeck

Charles Nelson will look to handle the secondary next season.

The Duck secondary has some holes to fill, as  Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, Erick Dargan and Troy Hill have graduated and look to take their talents to the NFL. But despite the fact that Nelson had some good offensive moments for the Ducks last season, Oregon’s coaching staff decided to move him to the defensive side of the ball.

The move will give the speedster an opportunity to showcase his full athletic repertoire and allow Oregon to utilize one of its most intense-driven players on defense. Nelson has taken full advantage of his new opportunity this spring and he is happy with the results he’s seen.

“It’s been a big progression, just changing sides of the ball and trying to learn new things. But overall, it’s been really good,” Nelson said after practice on Wednesday. “Thinking is different on defense. You have to check a lot more and do a lot of different things than you would offensively. Defense is just about going off what the offense gives you.”

He added that he understood the importance of his move, and although he’ll miss scoring touchdowns and making acrobatic catches in the end zone, his mindset hasn’t changed. Everyday he displays a no-nonsense type of attitude, which has helped his transition.

Nelson said, “If you’re coming out there willing to work and trying to get better, it’s a lot faster; it’s working.” He then added, “I’m out there having fun every day, especially with these guys (teammates) – they’re like my brothers. I go out there and practice and compete and try to make everybody better.”

Top Photo by Dave Peaks

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Omar Garibay

Omar Garibay

My name is Omar Garibay and I am a journalism student at the University of Oregon. I was born and raised in Salem, Oregon and I have dreamed of living in Los Angeles since I was 14-years-old. My dream career would be to work for ESPN LA, The Los Angeles Times or as a beat writer for the Los Angeles Lakers or Dodgers. Twitter: @omargaribay8

  • MAITAIDUCK

    Omar I’m sure your way to young to remember this guy’s name Darrell Green CB for the Washington Redskins who was all of 5-8 and is in the HOF. I just cannot believe any of the Florida schools let this kid get away because this is just my opinion but by the 3rd game he will be starting opposite Siesay. This kid will be a Freshman All American when all is said and done. Nelson is a rare College Football player as he has no fear and could play any DB position. He will end up being one of the better one’s to have played at Oregon. He’s actually got better skills than a 1st round pick back a few years in Molden. People might think I’m nuts to say that but just watch this kid on film and you will agree.

    • Platypus1

      Green was the ‘Fastest Man in the NFL’ for many seasons.