Corey Nelson clings to Proverbs 3:5-6 the same way his No. 7 Oklahoma jersey clung to his shoulder pads.
To the 6-foot-1, 220-pound linebacker, those verses aren’t just truisms about God’s direction from the Bible’s wisdom literature section. He’s experienced the reality of those verses in his own life.
While sitting at his agent Kelli Masters’ home with close friends and family members, Nelson recently got the call he’d been dreaming about receiving for his entire life.
On the other end of the phone were representatives from the Denver Broncos’ organization.
“It was so surreal,” said Nelson, the Broncos’ seventh round selection. “When they actually told me, ‘Welcome to the Denver Broncos organization!’ I was like, ‘Huh? What?’”
A high school all-American, Nelson starred as an Oklahoma Sooner. His senior campaign – which included a pick-six at storied Notre Dame – was cut short by a pectoral muscle injury. Coming off an injury raised questions about his draft status, and there was even a back-up plan to attend camp with a different AFC contender as an undrafted free agent in one scenario.
But just like the writer of Proverbs penned long ago, God directs steps. Denver called one minute before his name was announced to inform Nelson that he was their seventh round selection.
“I always tell myself that God is the one that allowed me to be in this situation,” Nelson said. “It was Him that allowed me to get this far.”
The whole scenario played out about as quickly as a safety blitz.
“It happened not even a minute before I got drafted,” Nelson said, remembering his big day. “While I was one the phone talking to them, it actually said my name across the screen, which was crazy.”
Anticipating what the phone call must mean, Nelson’s family began celebrating so loudly in Masters’ home that the all-Big 12 linebacker had to finish the call in a different room.
“They’re yelling, shouting, clapping… They were all hugging each other and everything,” Nelson. “It was like something you see on TV with those other guys. It was exhilarating. It was a lot of joy and happiness.”
Literally minutes after being drafted, Nelson had to make arrangements to catch a flight to Denver the following morning. At rookie camp, Nelson, a big Andy Mineo fan, wakes up at 6 a.m. and is at the facility from 7 a.m. in the morning to 7 p.m. in the evening. A typical day includes a series of meals, meetings, weight lifting, and film sessions.
And the Broncos playbook isn’t all that Nelson is studying these days.
“Every morning when I wake up, I give Him the praise and I get into my word,” the Texas native said. “I understand that He brought me this far. The only way I’m going to go further in life is if I continue to trust in Him, and continue to seek his face and continue to do His will.”