Notre Dame: New CB Farley learning from safety struggles

Notre Dame: New CB Farley learning from safety struggles
March 8, 2014, 11:45 am
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Matthias Farley has switched positions before, moving from wide receiver to safety after his first year at Notre Dame. Now, he's moving over a few yards from safety to cornerback instead of across the line of scrimmage.

"I'm really excited about it," Farley said. "It's a new system, a fresh start, so why not change positions."

Farley's role has yet to be determined, though he'll likely split time between playing cornerback and nickel. It's a position where he'll have a lot less on his plate and is better-tailored to his skillset.

"I was asked to do a lot of things. I didn't feel like I wasn't necessarily prepared for them," Farley said. "But you had fifth-year, guys, fourth-year guys who had been in the system a long time in those roles previously. And so it was a big jump from playing your first year in 2012 to have all that on your plate in 2013."

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Without Zeke Motta or Manti Te'o on the field to help him with the calls and positioning that come with playing safety for Notre Dame, Farley -- who's an intelligent player in his own right -- was on more of an island. And too, without those physical players around him, he was counted on to play with more physicality, which generally isn't part of his game.

"He's really smart, he's got some tools that I think if we play him in the right position can really help our defense," coach Brian Kelly said. "I'm not going to say he was unfairly evaluated in a sense, but he was put in a very difficult position last year and we think he can help our defense in a role that doesn't focus on him being a hard-hitting safety."

Still, Farley doesn't regret his time at safety. After all, this was someone who started nearly every game in 2012's run to the BCS Championship. And while he struggled last year, he's hoping to use that experience to make him a better player going forward.

"It was definitely a lot," Farley said, "but I think it was a beneficial year for me going through some struggles, some ups and downs and coming out better for it."