Will Farniok is the first of the four college football-playing Farniok brothers from Sioux Falls, South Dakota, to follow their brother to the same college.
Oldest brother Tom played at Iowa State and Derek at Oklahoma. Then Matt came to Nebraska, and two years later, Will followed him to Lincoln.
Now the two youngest brothers are spending the spring football season working to earn one of the jobs playing on the Husker offensive line. Will, a redshirt freshman, is a center. Matt is a junior and a returning starter at tackle.
Will Farniok had a good taste of major college football while traveling to watch his brothers play. When it was his turn, he was ready to go to Nebraska and play with his brother.
“He’s my older brother, and it’s been pretty cool to be able to do that,” Will Farniok said. “Once he came here, he’s just loved every second of it, so I just knew it was the right place.”
This is the second spring practice for Farniok after he graduated from high school early.
But things have really picked up now for Farniok, who entered the spring in a competition at center where the other main players are redshirt freshman Cameron Jurgens and sophomore walk-on Hunter Miller. Miller has had an injury, so redshirt freshman AJ Forbes, a walk-on from Bellevue West, has also been in the mix.
About 15 minutes after practice ended on Monday morning, Farniok was still dripping sweat down his long hair and onto his jersey.
“It’s been fun, just competing with each other,” he said about spring football. “Everyone is working with each other, and everyone has the same goals. That’s probably the best part. Everyone has the same goals and everyone is working hard. I’m just loving it.”
Farniok has had a lot of help over the years from his brothers. Tom Farniok, who is now an assistant strength coach at Louisiana Tech, played center in college. And Matt Farniok knows what the expectations are at Nebraska and lets his brother know when he’s not meeting them.
“Just a lot of football knowledge,” Will Farniok said of being in a football family. “Just going every weekend pretty much to a game since I’ve been 11, just watching my brothers and learning from them and listening to them tutor me as a football player. It’s been awesome to have as a resource.”
Will Farniok was practicing with the offensive line last season, but he’s one of several players on the line without much game experience. The least experienced one of course is Jurgens, who was a tight end before Nebraska coach Scott Frost switched him to offensive line.
Offensive line coach Greg Austin says Jurgens has been progressing with his footwork and learning the line calls to make. And when the team was off for spring break last week, Jurgens stayed in Lincoln to try and speed up the learning process.
“Cam stayed back last week and met with me every single day last week during spring break,” Austin said. “That’s a testament to his eagerness to want to get better. Most everybody else was out vacationing on spring break. Cam met with me every single day, Monday all the way through Friday. It was kind of neat to see how excited he was everyday to come in and learn.”
So far during spring football, Forbes and guard Matt Sichterman are young players who have been impressing their position coach.
Will Farniok is also progressing, Austin said.
“There are things we’re working on with him, just like we’re working with everybody,” Austin said. “But he’s doing a pretty nice job.”