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Bond aiding redshirt freshmen on offensive line

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[rl]Nebraska's trio of redshirt freshmen offensive linemen all came to Lincoln with high expectations last fall yet find themselves in different places on the depth chart as the season approaches. Despite their varying outlooks for playing time, their bond has never been stronger.
Tanner Farmer, Nick Gates and Jerald Foster were all highly-regarded coming out of high school and were generally viewed as the class that could help get Nebraska's offensive line back to its days of dominance. While the group certainly hopes their futures meet such lofty expectations, they were too busy teaming up to try and adjust to the college game to worry about such high hopes.
"When you meet a good friend, even when it's just the first couple of seconds, you know if it's going to be a good relationship," Foster said. "We watch film together. In the spring we were like, 'I'm staying after so you need to stay after. We need to keep getting in extra work.' We've all been pushing each other.
"We all hit it off pretty well and over this last year we've bonded. It's just easy to have guys like that to talk to and help you when you need it."
The trio currently occupies different spots on the depth chart - Gates appears to be the starting right tackle while Foster has served as the top reserve at both left and right guard. Farmer hasn't succeeded as quickly and has worked mostly with the third-team line at guard.
But the disparity in assumed playing time hasn't caused any rift between the three. They gelled immediately as friends and that bond has stuck.
"I think because it was just us three we were able to become close together," Gates said. "We made a good connection coming in at first."
The new coaching staff clearly thinks highly of Gates - it took him just one week of fall camp to supplant senior and returning starter Zach Sterup. They seem high on Foster as well as the Lincoln Southeast grad continues to push for playing time. Farmer has started more slowly, but he's one of the team's strongest players and, though it might take a bit longer for him to see the field, he figures to have a big role down the road.
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