It's come full circle for Myles Farmer.
Saturday's game against Purdue won't be the redshirt freshman safety's first start, nor his first time playing significant snaps for Nebraska's defense.
But after seeing his season end last year thanks to a freak injury on the Boilermakers' home field, Farmer is now in line to be the starting safety Saturday opposite Marquel Dismuke when the Blackshirts take the field against the Boilermakers at Memorial Stadium.
"It's been a process," Farmer said Tuesday. "But my ankle's strong now and I feel better than ever. I'm ready to play them. I didn't get to play them back then, but I get that now."
Farmer was set to see a jump in playing time last Dec. 5 when Nebraska traveled to West Lafayette to take on the Boilermakers. A month earlier, at Northwestern, Farmer got the start as Deontai Williams missed the first half against the Wildcats because of a targeting penalty the week before. He responded with two interceptions that the Huskers turned into 10 points.
He'd been on and off the field in the three games following that, but the Friday night before the Purdue game, NU defensive backs coach Travis Fisher told him to be ready.
Instead, before the game even started, Farmer went down awkwardly on a bad patch of Purdue's turf. Trainers put an air cast around his leg, and he was carted off to a waiting ambulance. He underwent season-ending surgery not long after.
"(The injury) made it real hard. But my teammates, they kept me feeling better," Farmer said. "They won the game, (and) that's all that really mattered to me, even though I didn't play."
Farmer attacked rehab, beginning the journey back the same day he left the hospital. As he recovered, he saw Williams and Dismuke announce they were returning for their sixth seasons of college football, meaning Farmer would once again have to wait his turn behind a pair of more experienced players.
Instead of lamenting a cut to his playing time, Farmer decided to soak up all the knowledge he could from two of Nebraska's most experienced players.
"I've learned a lot over time. My football IQ has raised," Farmer said. "There's just a lot of things that they're on to that I'm not on to that I've picked up over time. So there's a lot of stuff that they've taught me, just from me watching them, just to be ready for a moment like this.
A native of Atlanta, Farmer's preparation will have him ready, NU defensive coordinator Erik Chinander said.
"Myles is taking on a huge responsibility as a starter, but Myles has been training for this job for a long time," Chinander said Tuesday. "Myles stepped in as a starter last year versus Northwestern and ended up with two picks. Now, we don't expect him to come in here and get two picks right away again, but he responded well last time when he was asked to step up as a starter.
"I don't expect anything less from him this year. He has trained, he has prepared, and I think that he is ready to go. He is ready for it to be his time."