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Nebraska Football 2023 Spring Preview: The Defensive Backs

Wisconsin v Nebraska Photo by Steven Branscombe/Getty Images

Position Coach: Evan Cooper

Cooper is serving his 11th consecutive season on a Matt Rhule coaching staff. He has spent time in the NFL and coached at Baylor. His specialty, outside of coaching the secondary, is in player evaluation and development.

He shown an ability to find players who may be under recruited and turning them into studs.

Who Makes Up the Defensive Backs Room?

#11 Braxton Clark - Senior from Orlando, FL

#12 Omar Brown - Senior from Minneapolis, MN

#13 Malcolm Hartzog - Sophomore from Silver Creek, MS

#15 Quinton Newsome - Senior from Suwanee, GA

#17 Jalil Martin - Redshirt Freshman from Chicago, IL

#18 Myles Farmer - Junior from Atlanta, GA

#21 Noa Pola-Gates - Junior from Gilbert, AZ

#22 Ashton Hausmann - Sophomore from Roca, NE

#23 Isaac Gifford - Junior from Lincoln, NE

#24 Marques Buford Jr. - Junior from DeSoto, TX

#25 Javier Morton - Junior from Atlanta, GA

#26 Koby Bretz - Sophomore from Omaha, NE

#29 DeShon Singleton - Junior from Amite, LA

#31 Tommi Hill - Junior from Orlando, FL

#33 Javin Wright - Junior from Chandler, AZ

#34 Corey Collier - Sophomore from Miami, FL

#36 Blake Closman - Sophomore from Elkhorn, NE

#37 Phalen Sanford - Senior from Benkelman, NE

#38 Tamon Lynum - Sophomore from Orlando, FL

#39 Derek Branch - Sophomore from Lincoln, NE

#40 Dwight Bootle II - Freshman from Miami, FL

#44 Syncere Safeeullah - Freshman from Nashville, TN

#47 Gage Steneger - Redshirt Freshman from Omaha, NE

Who Will Be Joining At A Later Time?

D’Andre Barnes - Freshman from Aurora, CO

Mason Jones - Freshman from Omaha, NE

Ethan Nation - Freshman from Roswell, GA

Rahmir Stewart - Freshman from Philadelphia, PA

Thoughts on the Defensive Backs for Spring Football

It’s sounding like Nebraska needs to find a way to shed 15 scholarships on the roster and we shouldn’t be surprised if a number of them are from the defensive back room. There appears to be a surplus number of defensive backs at this point in the spring.

If you are looking for some sure things in the defensive backfield then I know that you start with Quinton Newsome. Nebraska fans should not be looking for the #6 that he usually wears as he had to pick a new number so keep an eye out for #15. That is until the single digit numbers are awarded to the toughest players on the roster and I wouldn’t be surprised if he gets #6 back.

After Newsome then we can be sure to rely on Malcolm Hartzog, who took big steps under Bill Busch’s leadership as defensive coordinator. Isaac Gifford also brings back a ton of experience in that backend.

The next group would include Marques Buford Jr., who started the first 11 games in 2022 before an injury. Myles Farmer and Braxton Clark are also guys with a bunch of experience that should help.

Omar Brown appears to have made a big jump so that is exciting to see from the Northern Iowa transfer.

This defensive back room is extremely deep but we should still expect to see a jettison of players as they try to shed some scholarships.