Photo Credit: John S. Peterson

Newsome and the ‘Big Dogs,’ Prochazka’s Redshirt and More Notes Ahead of Michigan State

September 20, 2021

The Huskers didn’t have many position battles on defense coming into the 2021 season. The most hotly contested battled was for the cornerback spot opposite Cam Taylor-Britt. Quinton Newsome came out on top of that battle earning that starting spot in preseason camp. With that said, the Georgia native was not one of the 12 Huskers to receive a Blackshirt before the season started.

Newsome has had a strong start to the season. Strong enough that fellow defensive back Deontai Williams thinks that Newsome should receive his Blackshirt soon. Williams is not surprised that Newsome has played well. He’s seen that fight in the cornerback for over a year.

“I’ve seen that coming from him,” Williams said on Monday. “He always tried to compete against me since last year. I always treated Quinton like my little brother. I have seen this coming. If a guy like that tries to go against the alpha dogs in the defensive back room every day, he’s got to be good. (I knew) when it’s his time next year to jump off the porch, he will be ready.”

Willams said that Newsome would challenge him, Marquel Dismuke and Taylor-Britt often. It didn’t matter if it was running sprints or playing video games. Newsome was always up for a competition. That type of spirit earned Newsome the respect of his peers.

Newsome isn’t the only one showing that type of competitiveness. It’s a spirit that Williams sees in other young players as he looks around the defensive back room. He noted that Myles Farmer, Braxton Clark, Marquis Buford and Koby Bretz are just like Newsome.

Defensive backs coach Travis Fisher has mentioned that he likes the culture of his room now. Competitiveness seems like prerequisite to play for him. He was a player that played with a lot of heart. It makes sense that it’s what he looks for in his players. Williams sees that.

“Definitely. Coach Fisher always says everybody’s job could be taken just like that,” Williams said. “He always tries to make jokes. ‘You all know the Wally Pipp story?’

“That’s just trying to keep the older guys on top of their game every day. The younger guys are aiming for us every day.”

Teams have tried to attack the new guy at cornerback this season. He played his best game this season against Oklahoma. His play on the field is shining through right now. But the confidence his teammates have in him started long ago.

More news and notes:

>> Oklahoma didn’t hit Nebraska for many big plays on Saturday. One they did get was on a trick play. Defensive back Deontai Williams explained why he thought that play was his fault.

“I saw they were in a little type of bunch formation,” Williams said. “I saw the wide receiver had no gloves on. But I didn’t tell nobody. So, it’s kind of my fault on that end of it. You saw what happened, they scored on that drive. That drive I blame it on myself.

Communication is something the defense has stressed so it stings Williams even more that he let it slip by.

>> One developing storyline to keep an eye on is freshman offensive lineman Teddy Prochazka’s redshirt. He’s appeared in three straight games even getting involved in a “rhino” package against Oklahoma. Prochazka is focused on putting himself in a position to play each week.

“Right now, I’m not planning on redshirting,” Prochazka said. “I don’t think it’s going to happen. I’m making sure that I’m giving the coaches reasons to play me and make sure that they have to have me on the field. Personally, I don’t think I’m going to be redshirting.”

>> Captain Damion Daniels can see the growth in the defense. He thinks the team is dialed in on what defensive coordinator Erik Chinander wants to see on a weekly basis. That growth has been helped by playing multiple years under Chinander.

“It’s really helpful,” Daniels said. “Going out and playing plan dominantly now. We play a lot of two-man down defensive lineman and everything. It’s been really helpful. Just knowing what Coach Chins [Chinander] wants from me and from everybody else.”

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