Positivity helped Myles Farmer get back on track after injury
The night before Nebraska's road game at Purdue last season, defensive backs coach Travis Fisher met with safety Myles Farmer to deliver some good news.
Five games into his redshirt freshman season, Farmer was about to get his most extensive defensive workload yet vs. the Boilermakers. Hours later, though, that window of opportunity slammed shut before the game even kicked off.
While the Huskers were going through pre-game warmups, Farmer jumped up for a ball during a drill along the sideline. When he came down, his foot got stuck in the natural grass field at Ross-Ade Stadium, and he crumbled to the turf with a season-ending ankle injury.
"(Fisher) told me the night before in the hotel that I was going to play a lot, so I was in the (hotel) room studying a lot. I was really excited for that game," Farmer said. "To be injured, I mean, it was devastating. But I was still there for my team. We came out with the win, and that's all that really mattered."
Many players would dwell on a setback like that, which happened on the cusp of a golden opportunity. But Farmer, as he always does, kept faith that his time would come again soon.
"Just knowing that stuff happens, you know?" Farmer said. "My teammates kept me with high hopes. I stay with high hopes. I knew I was going to be back soon, so I really wasn't trying to get down. Keep high hopes."
The former Atlanta (Ga.) Westlake standout now appears to be back where he left off before his injury, as he's emerged as one of the top backups behind returning senior starters Deontai Williams and Marquel Dismuke.
Farmer said he was cleared to return to workouts shortly after Christmas, but he still didn't feel his ankle was fully healed just yet.
"I feel good out there," Farmer said. "I'm not back 100 percent, but I feel good."
Fisher praised Farmer for his play since returning to practice this spring and his optimistic attitude throughout his rehabilitation process.
"He's been positive the whole time," Fisher said. "You watched him in that Purdue game, sitting on that sideline, he was hurting. His spirit was down, but he's been here every single day rehabbing. He's been great; hasn't missed a day…
"He's been grinding. He's still the same way. He still has that same attitude."
Farmer showed how dynamic he could be last season in his breakout game at Northwestern, where he intercepted two passes that led to 10 Nebraska points in his first career start.
Had this been a typical year, 6-foot-3, 205-pounder would have been a front runner for a starting safety job this season. With Williams and Dismuke deciding to come back for another year, Farmer will likely continue competing for snaps as a backup to start the season.
Once again, Farmer wasn't deterred by his situation. Sooner or later, he knows that his time will come.
"It's competition, but it's all love," Farmer said. "That's football. It's competition every day, all day. In the DB room, that's the culture. You're going to compete regardless. It didn't matter if they were gone or not; there was going to be a new guy coming who would try to take my spot."