LINCOLN, Neb. - Four.
It’s the amount of positions coaches cornerback Josh Mitchell has had during his days in the Nebraska secondary. Throw in the fact head coach Bo Pelini is a former defensive back himself and Mitchell has had a lot of voices in his ear over the last five years.
The newest is Charlton Warren, who spent nine years on the defensive staff at Air Force. He knows a thing or two about playing solid disciplined football and is continuing to get Nebraska like results on the backend.
Heading into the weekend against Purdue, the Huskers are once again a top ten squad in the nation when it comes to passing efficiency defense.
“I think he’s a tremendously talented coach. Very detailed in his coaching and does a great job,” said Pelini. “This isn’t an easy system to come in and have the head coach looking over your shoulder all the time, especially at that position.
“This system has kind of evolved over a long period of time. And there are a lot of little details and little things that change sometimes from week to week. You would have thought he’d been coaching in this system for a long time. He understands. He worked really hard in the off-season and has done a great job. He’s a really good teacher.”
Warren, who spent the last two years before coming to Nebraska as the Falcons’ defensive coordinator, spent extra time with Pelini in the film room this offseason.
“He sure hit the ground running. He’s an extremely intelligent guy. Great communicator. Like I said, it’s not like he picked it up overnight. It took some time to work on his part,” said Pelini. “I think he gets more comfortable in what we’re doing every day. He really gives a lot of valuable input. He’s a really talented coach. Really talented.”
His defensive backs describe Warren as a relaxed coach. A teacher who likes to sit with guys to discuss breakdowns in a player’s game.
“His demeanor and attitude on the field is a lot less intense and in your face than the other coaches were,” said Mitchell. “You can go into a situation where the players are a little bitter about getting another new coach, but for me going through a couple coaches before, it was a pretty easy transition to give him my trust. When you get your players trust early, it’s easier to coach them.”
For guys like sophomore safety Nate Gerry and the even the true freshman defensive backs, Warren was a new face – one they didn’t know when they committed to Nebraska. Mitchell had a message for those players.
“My message to the guys was the new coach didn’t recruit you, he didn’t bring you in,” said Mitchell. “You want to impress him and do what he’s saying. You take his coaching points. He doesn’t know you personally; he doesn’t know your playing style. You have to put on a show to impress him and getting playing time.”
A native of Georgia, Warren has also made a huge impact on the recruiting trail. While offers had already been extended to four-star defensive backs Eric Lee and Avery Anderson before his arrival, Warren really helped seal the deal with the two commits. He was also the main recruiter in safety Aaron Williams (Atlanta, GA) and NeKyle Lundie’s (Stone Mountain, GA) recruitment to Nebraska.