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Nebraska DBs coach Travis Fisher touts true freshmen, newfound maturity of Husker secondary

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Travis Fisher

Nebraska defensive backs coach Travis Fisher likes the maturity and athleticism of his true freshman corners and safeties. 

LINCOLN — Nebraska secondary coach Travis Fisher won't limit the potential of his four freshman defensive backs one bit before their first training camp. 

Myles Farmer, Quinton Newsome, Noa Pola-Gates and Javin Wright could all play prominent roles in their first years on campus, Fisher said on the Huskers Sports Network Tuesday night. 

"All four of those guys are guys I'm ready to throw in the fire right away," Fisher said on "Sports Nightly." Fisher said all four players were raised well by their parents and are "willing to come in here day after day and work and have the support back home that we see eye-to-eye in case things start to go the other way." 

Newsome and Wright will begin their careers at cornerback, Fisher said. Newsome had played safety as a senior at North Gwinnett High School near Atlanta, but Fisher prefers Newsome's junior tape, when he played cornerback. Newsome is flexible enough to play safety if he gains a few pounds. 

"I thought that his junior year film was better than his senior year film as far as movement skills," Fisher said. 

Wright may be 6-foot-4, Fisher said, but he moves like a corner and "is going to surprise a lot of people." 

Farmer — 6-3, 195 pounds — "looks like he's been in college three years already" and is a natural safety, Fisher said. Pola-Gates can play corner, nickel or safety, Fisher said, and is athletic enough to run from hash marks to the sideline on deep throws. Safety is a good fit for now, Fisher said, because Pola-Gates has the speed to run over the top of cornerbacks and thwart deep threats.

"He's a freak," Fisher said of Pola-Gates. "I can put him all over the field." 

The true freshman quartet can play so early, Fisher said, because they have good mentors in NU's secondary room. The defensive backs have grown in their maturity, Fisher said, since he arrived. 

Perhaps the best example is junior Marquel Dismuke, who "turned the page completely" this spring after the departure of a few senior Husker defensive backs. Fisher described Dismuke as "a guy you don't know if you want in the room completely" last season. 

"You hope you can help them, but you don't know if they can help themselves," Fisher said. Dismuke has been "nothing but great" in recent months, calling and holding meetings among players and holding teammates accountable for showing up and participating. 

"And everyone shows up," Fisher said. "That's what I'm talking about, that room changing completely." 

More notes from Fisher's chat on Sports Nightly: 

» Senior Eric Lee has moved from cornerback to safety, Fisher said, in part because Lee likes to play at a heavier weight that's not entirely conducive to playing corner. Lee "did a great job" learning the safety position. 

"Eric Lee is a guy that I'd probably guess didn't even like football when I first got here," Fisher said. "He likes football now. He's in here, too." 

» Junior safety Deontai Williams is in the football offices daily and has taken a verbal leadership role over the summer. Fisher wants Williams to be "assertive." 

"I have to tell him to go home," Fisher said. 

» Cam Taylor can play all three defensive back positions, Fisher said, and is one of the "born leaders" in the room. 

"He's an alpha male, he'll strike you, he's a 'yes sir, no sir' guy," Fisher said. Taylor looked better "than the guys in the first group" during the spring game, Fisher said.  

» It's now-or-never for Lamar Jackson, Fisher said, and the senior no longer has to question whether he can do it. He's capable, Fisher said, and has to do it.

"That's the mentality for him," Fisher said. 

» Redshirt freshman Braxton Clark recovered from a shoulder injury and spent much of the spring and summer doing mental reps. 


Omaha World-Herald: Local Sports

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