Travis Fisher couldn't yet talk about Nebraska's newest addition to its defensive backfield at last week's Big Red Blitz stop in Grand Island.
But it wasn't hard to connect the dots to the addition of Ohio State transfer cornerback Tyreke Johnson when Fisher was asked about building depth in his room.
"The main objective for this team — always, for me — and I'm not saying this in a mean way, but just a competitive way," the Nebraska defensive backs coach explained. "Try to outrecruit your room.
"There's a lot of talent that's entering the room, and there's a lot of talent in the room. So just trying to make that room more competitive is always the goal. We need depth in the room."
If there was an area of Nebraska's team that could be considered a strength, defensive back might be the most obvious pick.
With perhaps the team's best overall player in Cam Taylor-Britt, and young, highly touted recruits Quinton Newsom, Braxton Clark, Nadab Joseph and Tamon Lynum all battling for time, not to mention experience and potential star power at safety, Nebraska's defensive secondary appeared to be in a good spot heading into offseason workouts.
Then came the addition of the 6-foot-1, 190-pound Johnson, a former five-star recruit and top-50 player nationally who got a scholarship offer from Urban Meyer when he was in eighth grade.
The competition is always on for Fisher, who cross-trains his players at multiple positions, and warned that even Taylor-Britt has nothing guaranteed when it comes to playing time.
"Cam has the same workload and the same competitiveness, and that position can be taken just like Deontai’s (Williams). I just don’t think that way. Whoever I bring in the room, and whoever is on the field is a starter to me," Fisher said. "And I kind of learned that a long time ago from the coaches that coached me, because, helmet comes off, or Lord forbid a kid gets hurt, and you need someone to come off that sideline and enter the game, you want them to have the mind frame that, 'I'm the starter.'"
Johnson, entering his fourth season of college football, will cross-train between positions just like everyone else under Fisher's watch, though he'll begin primarily as a corner.
And after getting limited snaps in a loaded defensive backfield at Ohio State, Johnson will have the same opportunity as anyone else in Lincoln to make an impact by the time the Aug. 28 season opener rolls around.
"You have an opportunity to come in and compete right away. And get developed. That’s always the recruiting pitch for me," Fisher said. "It’s not like I have — (I'm) just being realistic — it’s not like I have a load of five-star players sitting in the room, that it’s going to be hard for you to even touch the field.
"Being realistic, you have an opportunity to come in right away and compete for a lot of playing time."
That's the pitch Fisher can give to a high-profile transfer such as Johnson, or a potential addition from high school. Already this summer, the Huskers have seen a number of potential additions make their way to Lincoln as in-person recruiting revved back up.
Nebraska has had four defensive backs on campus so far this month in four-star Markeith Williams (Orlando) and three-stars Avery Powell (Jersey City, New Jersey), James Monds (Fort Pierce, Florida) and Nathan Vail (Kennesaw, Georgia). This weekend, four-star athlete Jaden Mangham (Franklin, Michigan) takes his official visit. He could end up playing either defensive back or wide receiver in college.
The Huskers have also made new offers to a pair of 2022 defensive backs who impressed during on-campus workouts in Jalil Martin (Chicago) and Quantaves Gaskins (Atlanta).
The opportunity is there, Fisher will tell them. But only if they're willing to put in the work.
"Some guys, it’s not all guys, but some guys come in (confident) because they’ve been told a lot of positives about, 'Hey, you’re this or you’re this,' or 'You’re this coming out of high school or maybe even junior college,'" Fisher said.
"But then some places you go, especially if you come in my room, those stars don’t matter anymore. What matters is the work that you put in, being a great teammate, and coming to work every day. That’s what matters to me. A lot of guys struggle with that until they understand it."
Spring post-op: Catch up on our position-by-position look at where the Huskers stand after spring
What did we learn from the Huskers' spring? What about the things we still need to find out? Plus, a look at "stock-risers" and more.
The series continues with offense this week. No better place to start than quarterback, right?
NU's safeties benefited from the extra year of eligibility, as Marquel Dismuke and Deontai Williams both return for sixth seasons.
Cam Taylor-Britt has ascended into a face-of-the-program type player and perhaps the best player on the roster. But is there enough depth?
Luke Reimer, Chris Kolarevic and Nick Henrich are a strong trio at the top. But this is the Big Ten. Who can be the fourth man? The fifth?
You followed along all spring. Who's your standout player from the outside linebacker group? How about the "stock-riser?" Compare notes with us.
Defensive line coach Tony Tuioti said he has at least six players he can trust and potentially seven, but it’s unclear if any of NU’s next wave of players will crack the rotation this fall.
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