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Nebraska vs. Colorado, 9.7

Nebraska's Cam Taylor-Britt (5) smiles and points in the direction of the north end zone after forcing a fumble from Colorado kick-returner Laviska Shenault Saturday at Folsom Field in Boulder, Colo. The fumble was recovered by the Huskers' Luke Reimer in the fourth quarter.

Cam Taylor-Britt sounded like a guy who has been in the college game a while.

Thing is, he hasn't.

Now 14 games into his college career, Taylor-Britt is a starter. Nebraska's depth chart Monday showed the sophomore on the top line at safety across from Marquel Dismuke.

"It was pretty good," Taylor-Britt said of the feeling of being listed as a starter. "I was working it in the summer and a little bit in the spring and then into fall camp, but it wasn't a big change. I felt pretty good back there."

The high school quarterback from Montgomery, Alabama, has gotten used to being moved around. He's played both corner and safety at Nebraska, but now, with the news that Deontai Williams had shoulder surgery and will be out "for the foreseeable future" according to NU head coach Scott Frost, the sophomore appears to have found a home in the Huskers' defense, and doesn't figure to move for a while.

Frost typically only acknowledges specific injury status when a player is going to miss the remainder of the season. 

Taylor-Britt's move to the starting line bumps senior Eric Lee, who had two Week 1 interceptions, to the No. 2 line. 

"Cam is a guy where you can kind of put him anywhere because of his frame. Also his mindset of being an outright dog out there. Going out there and competing at a high level at whatever he does," junior cornerback Dicaprio Bootle said. "You could ask him to go play O-line and he's going to compete at the highest level.

"Putting him at safety helps our defense. He is going to go out there and make the calls. He’ll just try to go in there and keep things rolling just as anyone else was at safety. That is a good thing about our [secondary] room. We are so deep that anyone can play anywhere."

Bootle was among the first players to get to Taylor-Britt after he was beaten for a touchdown on Colorado's 96-yard flea-flicker in the fourth quarter of the Buffs' 34-31 overtime win.

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Nebraska needed to find a spark and would need all the help it could get in doing so. Bootle knew that. He wanted to let Taylor-Britt know, too.

"I actually slapped him and told him to keep his head in the game. He just let me know that he was going to come back," Bootle said. "I told him that there was plenty of time in this game and that he could still make a play."

Taylor-Britt did just that. With Colorado star receiver Laviska Shenault streaking down the field on a kickoff return, Taylor-Britt came from behind to punch the ball loose and get the ball back to the Husker offense.

"He's out there doing something that you can’t teach," Bootle said. "He did what I expected him to do. He made a play. He knocked the ball out and gave the offense an opportunity to put something into motion when we needed it."

That next-play mentality seems to be a part of Taylor-Britt's makeup. Asked Monday about the mood of the locker room in the wake of the defeat, Taylor-Britt gave the type of response more typical of a senior than a sophomore.

"It was tough because we let ourselves down. We beat ourselves at the end of the day. We didn’t play four quarters like we were supposed to; we played three. So we’ve just got to finish games out," Taylor-Britt said. "We keep talking about that at practice. You’ve got to come in and start it on Monday. So we’ve got to start out fresh on Monday. It’s a new week, a new team."

For Taylor-Britt, there always seems to be something new when it comes to where he lines up on the football field. 

But it's nothing he can't handle.

"Cam is a good player. He does a great job and he’s one of our leaders," Frost said. He has played nickel, he’s played corner, and now he is going to be pressed into duty a little bit at safety, and he can still play other places. We trust him at just about every spot and that is why he is a Blackshirt."

Contact the writer at pgabriel@journalstar.com or 402-473-7439. On Twitter @HuskerExtraPG.

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Husker basketball reporter

A Ravenna native, Chris covers the University of Nebraska men's basketball team and assists with football coverage. He spent nearly 10 years covering sports at the Kearney Hub and nearly four years at the Springfield News-Leader in Springfield, Mo.

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