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#6 Vidal Nelson
Position: Strong Safety
Height: 5'11"
Weight: 215
Year: Redshirt Senior
Hometown: Virginia Beach, Va.
High School: Kellam
Experience: 3 Letters
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Nelson Photos
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Nelson Videos

2011

  • Started all 12 games at linebacker for JMU
  • Third on the team with 67 tackles, adding 6.0 tackles for a loss, one sack, two forced fumbles, one interception and four pass breakups on the season
  • Had a season-best nine tackles, including 2.5 tackles for a loss, one forced fumble and a pass breakup against Central Connecticut State
  • Had an interception in win over Richmond
  • Collected seven tackles and a pass breakup against Maine
  • Made seven tackles, including one for a loss against Old Dominion
  • Recorded six tackles, two tackles for a loss, a forced fumble and a pass breakup in win over Rhode Island
  • 2011 Preseason All-CAA honoree by league head coaches and SIDs
  • Has started the last 41 straight and played in all 48 possible games in his career, recording 252 total tackles
  • Career-high 13 tackles at Richmond last season
  • Tied for 14th among CAA defensive backs with 70 tackles in 2010
At JMU: Fifth-year Duke who is a leading candidate to start for the third straight year at strong safety after starting at linebacker during the second half of the 2008 season... Aggressive and hard-nosed player who is expected to be a major contributor, said safeties coach Mo Linguist.

2010: Started all 11 games at safety to earn his third letter... Served as a team captain... Ranked third on the team with 70 tackles, including 36 solos, helping lead the Dukes to a No. 2 ranking in the CAA in total defense, earning FirstTeam All-State honors from the Virginia SIDs... Broke up five passes on a defense that finished first in the CAA in pass defense and No. 12 overall nationally... Had a career-high 13 tackles including his lone sack of the season for a 22-yard loss as well as one forced fumble and one pass break up at Richmond... Set a single-game high with six solo tackles and recorded 10 total tackles in the win over Liberty... Had seven tackles including 2.5 for loss versus Delaware... Recorded five or more tackles in seven games, including two games with 10 or more tackles.

2009: Started all 11 contests at strong safety to pick up his second letter... ranked fifth on the squad and 13th among CAA defensive backs with 57 tackles, including 27 solos... added 3.0 tackles for loss, one interception, two pass break ups and two forced fumbles... Wrapped up the season with a career best-tying 10 tackles, with four solos, in the win over Towson... Had nine tackles and a forced fumble in the victory over VMI... Recorded eight tackles, with 1.5 tackles for loss, and a forced fumble at William and Mary... Was in on six tackles, including 1.0 tackle for loss, versus Villanova... Posted five tackles and his lone interception of the year in the win over Maine... Had at least four tackles in eight of the 11 games... Moved to safety from linebacker in the 2009 spring drills.

2008: Played in each JMU game and assumed a starting linebacker's position after D.J. Brandon was injured at Richmond in mid-October, starting the last seven games... Took part in 58 tackles, including 18 unassisted stops, three tackles for loss and a shared quarterback sack... Involved in a season-best 10 tackles, including three solos and one stop for loss, vs. Wofford in the NCAA playoffs... Involved in eight tackles, including five solo, at Villanova and vs. North Carolina Central (2 solo) and seven vs. William & Mary and Montana... Involved in other stops for loss vs. North Carolina Central, Richmond and Delaware... Broke up a pass vs. Massachusetts.

High School: All-district running back as a Kellam senior when he had 1,500 combined offensive yards and 16 touchdowns... In eight games on a playoff team as a junior ran for 500 yards and four touchdowns and had a touchdown catch... Ran for 300 yards as a sophomore.

Personal: Justice studies major.