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LINCOLN - Justin Blatchford uses a pair of words with opposite meanings to describe the game of football these days.
Things have gotten slower for the Nebraska safety. His play, however, has gotten faster.
"I'm just reacting now," Blatchford said after Monday's practice. "I can read my keys and just fly around."
It's music to the ears of defensive coaches, who awarded the Ponca, Neb., native a coveted Blackshirt a season ago for his role in both nickel and dime situations.
His career highlight up to that point was a blocked punt returned for a touchdown against Baylor his freshman season.
But the walk-on found a role as a specialist in passing situations. It earned Blatchford a start in NU's third game of the season, and eventually a practice jersey that he said he grew up thinking about.
"Getting that Blackshirt, it really meant a lot," Blatchford said.