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Photo Credit: John S. Peterson

Tough Love Needed in Husker Secondary as Leadership Torch Passes

March 29, 2022

Nebraska’s secondary will have a different feel this fall. Cam Taylor-Britt, Deontai Williams and Marquel Dismuke are no longer wearing scarlet and cream.

Returning starter Quinton Newsome is back at cornerback. Safety Myles Farmer has been a player on the rise for the Huskers. Defensive backs coach Travis Fisher has been high on Farmer’s potential since his freshman season in 2019.

This will be Farmer’s fourth season in the program. He played in every game of the 2021 season and started the final four games. The defender posted a career-high 30 tackles with one interception and a fumble recovery. The spring has been going well so far for Farmer. It took him a few practices to get back in the swing of things. He had to get back in the groove of covering people and getting into how things are run on the team.

Fisher mentioned earlier this spring that he’d like to see his guys become pros. There is a different mentality needed as players step into bigger roles on the defense.

“Just watching extra film and coaching up the guys that just came in,” Farmer said. “Paying attention to the little details that we mess up on. We might mess up on something in practice but we go to the film room and correct it. You don’t want to mess up on it after you corrected it. So just paying attention to those little details.”

On the field Farmer wants to get better with his feet. The mental part of the game is an area where he wants to make strides, too. He’d like to get quicker with his calls to be a better communicator at safety. He knows the defense but continuing to study it will help make the game easier for his teammates. If there are things they don’t see that he does, Farmer will point them out.

He learned those leadership skills from the players that were in the secondary last season.

“I learned that you got to show tough love sometimes. Everybody in the room can’t be friends,” Farmer said. “We’re friends outside of football. But on the field, we’re business partners. If somebody is not handling their business, I’m gonna let them know that they’re not handling their business and they do the same for me.”

Cornerback Braxton Clark has been on the team since the 2018 season. He’s played mostly a reserve role, but did see action in every game of the 2021 season. Clark was part of the initial recruiting class brought in by coach Scott Frost. He’s in the mix for more playing time and wants to take steps off the field.

“I say being more of a leader every day,” Clark said. “Being a leader on the field and off the field. Making sure guys get home safely on the weekends or make a sure they are in their playbook every day even when we are not in the film. So, I’d say that’d be the biggest thing.”

Deontai Williams was that guy for Clark. He always made sure the players in the secondary were on point and kept them mentally tough. Clark didn’t fully realize what was really going on until Williams left the team. Now he’s in that position of trying to help the other players in his room. That tough love that Farmer mentioned is something that Clark recognizes, too. He thinks there needs to be a mixture of tough love and jokes to keep things loose.

The Huskers have a lot of guys like Famer and Clark that are stepping into larger roles. Those increased roles are happening on and off the field. The team lost so many strong voices in the locker room that new players have to fill the void. Those gaps might be filled with players that have been with the team for years.

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