Theodore's Chris Nelson No. 2
The first round of the 6A State Championship playoffs in 2007 had the Theodore Bobcats and Coach Bill Meredith traveling to Hoover. This is what I thought then, "Freshman quarterback Chris Nelson will face a mighty task to lead his team into Hoover and look for a win, but this is experience building for the youngster."
Fast forward two years and Chris Nelson is one of the hottest junior prospects in the state. He has led his teammates to a 4-0 start with three region wins over Blount, Baker and Mary Montgomery.
This is the first 4-0 start since Theodore won their first four games in 2002. They will try NOT to do what the 2002 team did and lose the next six, and I don't think they will.
Coach Bill Meredith talked to ScoutSouth.com about his players who you know and some you might get to know in the coming year.
Rebecca Johnston: You are off to great start Coach Meredith. You've outscored opponents 151 to 46, and you took on a very good defensive team in Blount last week and put up 35 points, the most they allowed this season thus far.
Coach Bill Meredith: "We've just got a good group of seniors and players. Of course, C.J. Mosley (Sr. LB 6-3, 220) has had a great year and Chris Nelson (Jr. 6-3, 215) is a great quarterback. Todd Neal (Sr. RB/DB 6-2, 195) has had a great year. Markeith Gaines (Sr. 6-0, 255) defensive end has had a great year so we're playing pretty good right now."
RJ: Besides, the obvious ones you mentioned, do you have any up and coming player or players who are getting recruiting attention?
CBM: "We've got two senior (offense) linemen being looked at by Middle Tennessee and places like that Cecil Watford and Nathan Woodard (6-2, 255). Cecil is 6-3, 225 pounds, but he runs a 4.8-40.
"Then we have a junior linebacker Carl Robinson (6-1, 220) that is getting an awful lot of attention.
"We've just got a tough stretch coming up."
RJ: Let's address that. This week you have an out of region game against 5A Charles Henderson (1-3), a little down this year, but very capable of an upset. Then you have to peal off Davidson, Murphy, and Williamson in back-to-back weeks. The three teams have a record of 10-2. Do you hold anyone or anything back this week to try and save for those three region games.
CBM: "Charles Henderson is a great football team. They are going to be well-coached. Last year they had lost the one before us, and we went into overtime with them. We've got to travel, and it will be a tough place to play. We've got to prepare for this week. We're always trying to get better ourselves. That's just something we try to do every week. We try to finish 3-0 in the first set of region games, and then you play the fifth game, and then you try to win three or four of that last bunch. We don't change anything right now."
RJ: Like I mentioned earlier, you faced Coach Kevin Sigler's Blount team last week, probably the best team and certainly defense you've seen so far this season. You had 324 total yards (238 rush, 86 pass) and 19 first downs. You scored 28 points in the second half.
CBM: "We sure did. We're just playing real well right now. Any time you've got a quarterback like we do, and we think next year he will be the top quarterback in the state, any time you've got somebody like that you can score points. We have real good receivers. Darien Thomas (Jr. 6-2, 185) is a great receiver. We just think we can score points on people and we've been able to do it.
RJ: Talk about Chris Nelson and about the attention he is receiving.
CBM: "He's a quarterback. That's what he is. He's 6-3, 215 pounds. He runs real well, and he's a smart guy. He's been starting for three years, so he has a lot of upside to him. He just gets better every time. When he's had to pull it down and run he's done a great job. We're excited about him. He's going to be a great find for somebody, whoever signs him."
RJ: Any idea who that might be?
CBM: "Everybody is on him right now to be honest with you. I don't know what he plans on doing. I think he's always been an Alabama fan, but you know when they get recruited how that works. He's got everybody sending him stuff right now and getting involved."
RJ: Talk about your All-State linebacker, C.J. Mosley.
CBM: "He's the best player in the state. He's a great kid, and he works hard. He just makes every other tackle. I don't think there is a better defensive player than he is. We had a chance to go against Blount, and the kid they have (Jarrick Williams), and I think we probably got the best of him. We're excited about everything C.J. does."