Tahlequah Daily Press

Sports

August 22, 2013

A Nevel concept

Northeastern State linebacker Colten Nevel to take over at rover once the RiverHawks open the season at Pittsburg State.

bjohnson@tahlequahdailypress.com

Colten Nevel had a goal in mind all summer long: unseat Cayle Shambaugh as Northeastern State's rover linebacker during fall camp.

That ambition became a lot easier when Nevel showed up for practice in mid August. At that time, he found out that Shambaugh had opted to drop football to focus on his baseball career at NSU.

"I didn't know until the first day that we got here," Nevel said. "I was ready to take his spot, anyways, so it didn't really matter."

It might not have been that simple for Nevel, a 6-foot-1, 195-pound junior from Catoosa. NSU head coach Kenny Evans had a lot of faith in Shambaugh as the linebacking unit's third member with Jack Gray and Langston Jones.

"I was worried, because Cayle had started there for two years," Evans said. "It was worried about it all summer."

It wasn't that Evans was selling Shambaugh's successor short. What had Evans concerned was what all the job entails while playing rover.

"It's a very difficult position because it's such a hybrid position," Evans said. "Sometimes you could be lined up as a safety, or you could even be by the (defensive) line."

No sweat, Nevel said.

"I knew I was ready [to play the position] last year," said Nevel, who served mainly as a key component on special teams in 2012, recording 16 tackles in 10 games.

"I just knew I had to keep working hard, and I'll fit in right where I needed to."

Sure enough, Nevel's plan worked to perfection.

It didn't take Nevel long to be named the RiverHawks' starting rover, beating out Donnie Fuston for the spot.

"We were going to let the position play out," Evans said. "And there's no doubt that Colten has risen to the top."

Despite claiming the spot atop the depth chart, Nevel said he and Fuston still have a solid working relationship.

"We still help each other," Nevel said. "It's almost like we're not competing, because we're there to help each other out more."

NSU's season-opening game at Pittsburg State is still more than two weeks away. But Evans said the chances of a last-minute switch at rover are virtually nil.

"Right now, the gap has separated between them," Evans said of Nevel and Fuston. "A lot could happen, and we hope injuries don't happen. But for right now, Colten is a solid starter."

In the offseason, Nevel put on 20 extra pounds, compared to the RiverHawks' final game at Central Oklahoma in 2012.

"He's a tall, rangy player that can do a lot of things," Evans said of Nevel. "He's gotten bigger and stronger from last year."

Now, according to Evans, all Nevel needs is time to mature during actual games.

"Colten filled in at times and was a very active special teams player [last year], and he's definitely going to have an opportunity to do some things," Evans said. "He can do some things that Cayle couldn't; he just doesn't have the experience."

That's all about change in the upcoming months.

1
Text Only
Sports
  • Keys-Dakota.jpg Playing both sides of the line

    Recently, Keys High School football standout Dakota Matlock was nearly severely injured in a terrifying car wreck.

    Matlock is coming off a stellar gridiron season for Keys High School. On offense, Matlock ran for over 1,000 yards for the Cougars. In his sophomore season, Matlock led Keys in tackles from the safety position.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Bassmaster.jpg Crossing, and fishing, the Delaware

    Bassmaster Elite Series anglers to compete Aug. 7

    BASS has fished out of some legendary venues over the years (including Chicago, Detroit and New Orleans), but never Philadelphia, which is host of the Bassmaster Elite at Delaware River, Aug. 7-10, 2014.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Mison.jpg Mixon’s attorney says incident with woman self-defense

    The attorney for Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon says the incident that left a 20-year-old female OU student with multiple facial fractures was a case of self-defense.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Hooper.jpg Sparking the flame

    Sequoyah High School’s Justin Hooper looking to lead this year

    Last season was Justin’s last chance to play alongside Cody at Sequoyah High School.
    Justin had to battle to win the Indians starting tailback. The coaching staff did not know who was going to be the Indians starting running back coming into fall practice.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • NSU-fishing-team.jpg NSU teams compete in fishing tournament

    Three teams from Northeastern State University’s Bass Fishing Team competed in the Fishing League Worldwide College Fishing Tournament on Grand Lake in Grove on Saturday, June 21.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Johnson, East win easily at All-State

    Jake Johnson was able to hold off Lawton MacArthur’s Trent Meisel at the Class 5A state tournament in May. On Monday at the All-State tournament at Cherokee Hills Golf Club, Johnson had it much easier against Meisel.

    July 29, 2014

  • McMillan-blackboard.jpg Hometown brothers team up for RiverHawks football

    Northeastern State’s football program will include a pair of hometown brothers for the 2014 season.
    Mason McMillan returns for his sophomore season, and this year he will be reunited with his younger brother, Kourtland. The brothers graduated from Tahlequah High School – Mason in 2013, followed by Kourtland in 2014. At Tahlequah, Mason and Kourtland shared the gridiron for one season.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Yurcich ready for second season

    With the 2014 season on the brink, Mike Yurcich, Oklahoma State University football offensive coordinator, is ready for his second year at the helm after coaching a powerful offensive squad a year ago.

    July 28, 2014

  • James_Ethan-(12)-vs.#2CC63C.jpg Back on the line

    RiverHawks’ Ethan James returns to the line healthy and ready for 2014

    RiverHawks offensive lineman Ethan James will enter the 2014 season healthy – something the team, and James, were not in 2013.

    July 25, 2014 2 Photos

  • Sooners shifting several positions

    Experience comes from encountering the same things in the same ways over and over again. Oklahoma’s Geneo Grissom and Julian Wilson have that at defensive end and nickleback in bunches.
    However, both will be seeing new things when practice begins. Grissom is moving to outside linebacker. Wilson will be getting a look at cornerback as his senior season begins

    July 25, 2014

Poll

Do you believe school administrators and college presidents in Oklahoma are paid too much?

Strongly agree.
Somewhat agree.
Somewhat disagree.
Strongly disagree.
Undecided.
     View Results
Press Sports Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction Malaysian PM: Stop Fighting in Ukraine Cantor Warns of Instability, Terror in Farewell Ravens' Ray Rice: 'I Made a Huge Mistake' Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN
Stocks