NU cornerback Quinton Newsome finds happiness in Lincoln, and may land a starting job soon

Nebraska safety Myles Farmer (18) and cornerback Quinton Newsome talk between plays in the third quarter against Ohio State last season at Ohio Stadium in Columbus, Ohio.

Quinton Newsome watched four young Nebraska scholarship defenders leave the program last year soon after they joined it.

Three of the departures were from his position group, the secondary, and all three were from the state of Florida. 

A lot of Husker fans wondered what was going on.


“I would say it was just that they didn’t feel at home here,” Newsome said Wednesday. “It just wasn’t Florida to them.”

A sophomore from Suwanee, Georgia, Newsome said he had little problem making the adjustment to college life in Lincoln.

“When I came out here, I just talked to everybody,” he said with a smile. “I’m going to talk to everybody, no matter who you are or what you look like. I’m going to have fun. I’m a funny person.”

He definitely seemed at ease as he spoke with a group of reporters following the eighth of his team’s 15 spring practices.

“For me, it was just like: OK, I’m in Nebraska. This is where I want to be, so I’m all in,” he said. “I basically took it from there.”

His roommate is Nebraska redshirt freshman safety Myles Farmer of Atlanta, who like Newsome is pushing for major playing time, if not a starting job. Husker freshman running back Gabe Ervin, who’s also having a strong spring season, played at Buford (Georgia) High School, about six minutes from Newsome’s hometown.

Newsome speaks glowingly of his new environs, saying the friendliness in the state is striking.

“There’s just different things that make you really want to come here,” he said.

His personality probably would help him fit in well about anywhere.

“Quinton, he’s really outgoing, that’s my dog,” Farmer said. “You can talk to him about anything.”

Newsome obviously has a serious side, and he clearly likes to compete. The 6-foot-2, 180-pounder is challenging for a starting cornerback job with sophomores Braxton Clark and Nadab Joseph, as well as freshman Tamon Lynum.

That’s some serious young talent.

“I would say it’s intense every day,” Newsome said. “We just come every day trying to make each other better. We’re just competing. At the end of the day, everywhere you go, there’s going to be competition.”

After appearing in 10 games in 2019, Newsome played even more extensively last season as a second-year sophomore, contributing on defense and special teams. He finished with 11 tackles.

Although junior standout Cam Taylor-Britt has one starting cornerback job pretty much sewed up, it’s clear the other spot is up for grabs.

This spring, Newsome said, everything is clicking for him. He seemingly has an upper hand in the competition.

“Not that anybody has a job, nobody has a job yet, but Cam has played a lot of football,” Nebraska defensive coordinator Erik Chinander said. “That other job is going to be an interesting one to see. Quinton has played reps and taken reps in the game. Now he’s got to go out and take that job. Somebody’s got to take that job. That job is not going to be given away because of the competition. There’s been years past where some jobs have kind of been given away just by the matter of there wasn’t a lot here or you were the oldest guy and there were a bunch of freshmen in the room.

“That job is not going to be given away. Somebody’s going to have to take it.”

Newsome counts his blessings that he’s able to learn from Taylor-Britt on a daily basis.

“Oh, it’s great,” Newsome said. “We work out together every day. We compete against each other every day. We just keep on making each other better and better, and I feel like we try to build off each other’s game. I’m just trying to take things from him because he’s more experienced than me.”

With 2020 senior corner Dicaprio Bootle moving on to a possible NFL career, Taylor-Britt, a seasoned veteran, seemingly has stepped comfortably into more of a leadership role.

“I see his leadership grow on and off the field,” Newsome said. “Whether it’s in the film room, whether it’s in the class room, whether it’s on the field, it doesn’t really matter. He’s starting to take things into his own hands and help us be a better team as a whole, in every aspect of it.”

Already a special-teams standout, Taylor-Britt said he might even play some receiver this season.

“He’d be good at it,” Newsome said with a wide smile.

Yeah, he definitely seems to enjoy it here.