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Husker coaches breaking down the signees: Offensive line

The two big Wills hope to help boost Husker O-line depth. One is already on campus, getting help from his brother.

Nebraska assistant coaches gave their impressions of each of the 24 signees from the 2018 recruiting class at speaking engagements around the state in recent days. We're going through the different position groups one by one, with analysis from the coaches themselves.

We've already been over the linebackers and defensive backs and defensive linemen and running backs. This space belongs to the two O-line additions, with thoughts from O-line coach Greg Austin, and also running backs coach Ryan Held, who spoke about all the offensive players to fans in Grand Island.

WILL FARNIOK: "Tough kid. Inside guy," Austin said. "He's already in the fold, already doing a good job lifting weights, going to school, being part of the college life. Really excited about seeing him in spring ball and seeing what he can do immediately. A guy that will develop into terms of his body: getting bigger, stronger, faster. Back to his roots of being a tough kid, he's the youngest of four boys, four big offensive linemen, so we're expecting some immediate success from him."

Austin said his brother Matt Farniok, expected to be the top guy at right tackle heading into this spring as a sophomore, is "pushing Will day-to-day in the weight room."

Held added these thoughts about the recruit: "He's a guy that will be a center-guard prospect for us. Very tough, very physical. Fits the mold of what we want as an offensive lineman. He's smart. He brings a lot of physicality. We have to change the culture in the offensive line room ... to where it's tough, physical, guys that are just a band of brothers. You've got to be good up the middle, so to be able to get a kid that's a local kid (from Sioux Falls, South Dakota) and his brother players for us is a win-win for us."

WILLIE CANTY: "Big tackle prospect. Athletic guy. Tough, gritty guy," Austin said. "He comes from kind of a rural area in Lake Okeechobee, in Belle Glade, Florida. Really excited about him and his potential. In this offense, you really have to recruit athletic tackles, guys that can hold the edge and move their feet well in protection, and anchor well in protection. We think we got a good guy that can do that, that we'll get a lot of years out of."

Added Held: "He's about 6-foot-6, 300 pounds. One of our objectives in this recruiting class was we needed to get a tackle prospect. ... He's a guy that has a lot of a talent, he has a lot of athleticism. He's a gut that can bend, he can run. In this offense, we need athletic offensive tackles because they have to do a lot of things. We run a lot of screens. We run a lot of second-level plays where he has to be able to get to the next level blocking linebackers and safeties and this that and the other.

"So Will's very talented. He's a guy that once he gets into our program, and gets into our weight program, and develops, he has a very high ceiling. When we look at guys, some kids are maybe more than ready early than others. He's a kid where he has a talent to be, we just got to see what he can do, but he has a very high ceiling for us. So you'll see in this recruiting class we did utilize a lot of our Florida recruiting connections that we had before to get some of these kids to Nebraska. And Will is one of those guys."

EXTRA CREDIT: Austin hasn't had much time with the current players due to the recruiting sprint, though that is about to change with Signing Day complete. The O-line coach has watched some film from last year but "ironically a lot of the guys in our room our more underclassmen."

"Certainly I've looked at the guys that got some playing time last year," Austin shared last Wednesday. "I've been in the weight room for one morning after back being back off the road. ... Just getting around them. The biggest thing with me is connecting with them. Before you can ever correct a guy, you have to first connect with them. ... Before I get into the football aspect it's all about, 'Hey, I want you to know me, and me get to know you.' Really invest a lot of time in our relationship. I believe that was a recipe for the quick turnaround and success we had at UCF."