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Nebraska's senior safeties aim to set tone, culture for Huskers' defense
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Nebraska's senior safeties aim to set tone, culture for Huskers' defense

Marquel Dismuke

For Nebraska, Deontai Williams' and Marquel Dismuke’s sacrifices show how dedicated they are and how much they believe in the Huskers' potential. Now, the younger players look to them for guidance and answers. Above, Dismuke breaks up a pass meant for Minnesota's Clay Geary.

Marquel Dismuke feels Nebraska can be a "top ten defense"

LINCOLN — Call senior safeties Deontai Williams and Marquel Dismuke enforcers. They want to set tone and culture on the defense — and the entire team.

And both said they have more to prove at Nebraska.

“I'm glad we both decided to come back to elevate our game to the next level, which before we even go to the next level, we want to maximize our ability on the field at the college level,” Dismuke said. “So when we came back it was about our potential on the team and as a player individually.”

Both said they thought the Huskers and defensive backs can make a statement.

“Just take everything day by day, try to get better, try to prove to the world that we better than what they expect us to be,” Williams said. “The world expects us to be a .500 team, a 75 (percent) team, no we are trying to win the (Big Ten) West.”

Williams added: “Our goal is to be top-10 defensive backs in the country. So that’s gotta be takeaways, that’s gotta be not getting beat deep, that’s gotta be making tackles.”

After three seasons together, Williams and Dismuke don’t have to communicate on the field, they can almost read each other’s minds. 

“I could be thinking something and, by the time I'm about to say it to him, he already knows what to do,” Dismuke said. “It's been immaculate having him back there. It's been great having our bond getting stronger and stronger.”

The safeties relationship expands past football. Williams has a son that is 1½ and Dismuke’s daughter is only a few months younger. They hang out often and take little trips with their children, Williams said.

Williams also said he returned to the Huskers to set an example for his son.

“Twenty years from now — because my son, he watches me play right now — so when it's his time to be a Husker and play football, he'll see what daddy has done,” Williams said. "So that's why I chose to come back.”

For Nebraska, Williams and Dismuke’s sacrifices show how dedicated they are and how much they believe in the team's potential. Now, the younger players look to them for guidance and answers.

“I like the young guys and I like where their heads are at right now,” Dismuke said.

Both senior safeties expect each player to consistently give their best effort and have helped set the tone in the defensive backs room. Williams said he wants his impact at Nebraska to have a lasting effect.

“I'll make sure that the culture still stays here when I'm gone,” he said, “Other than that, they watch me practice, they watch me watch film, they see me here every day. It's just not gonna come to you, you got to work hard every day, day by day.”

Along with keeping the younger players in check, Williams and Dismuke push each other.

“We are going out and trying to better each other, each and every day, not settling for nothing,” Dismuke said. “If I'm going slow or he's going slow, he gonna get on me.”

Added Williams: “We want to show the country that we are better than what everybody else thinks we are. So I felt like coming back, leaving a footprint, leaving a mark.”


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