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For their own good
Fifty years ago, they were screwed-up kids sent to the Florida School for Boys to be straightened out. But now they are screwed-up men, scarred by the whippings they endured. Read the story and see a video and portrait gallery.
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Reggie Nelson: One to watch
By Times Staff
Published September 1, 2006
REGGIE NELSON, CORNERBACK
In the middle of a game last season, an opponent's running back dropped the ball on the ground. With his back to the loose ball, Reggie Nelson turned and fell on it as if he had eyes in the back of his head.
He is known among teammates as "The Natural."
"He just has a knack of knowing where the ball is," teammate Joe Cohen said. "He was born to play football."
THE BIG CHANGE
The former safety is moving to cornerback on a squad with serious questions in the secondary. Nelson has to become the leader, quickly.
A LONG JOURNEY
The story of Reggie Nelson started on a field in Kansas, where he found himself months out of Palm Bay High digging postholes. Exhausted, with blistered hands and a mother fighting cancer, he wanted to give up on college and football and come home numerous times. Family and friends talked him out of it. Now Nelson could be destined for an NFL career.