I enjoy having a chance to talk to my family about my unique experiences behind the scenes talking to recruits. I can add my own commentary on NFL Draft Day with my family in the room talking about the “kids” I spoke with back in high school as they are drafted. I look forward to that opportunity with Ameer Abdullah.
I can’t speak to all of the 125-plus years of Nebraska football tradition, but over the past 30 years, I definitely have my list of favorites that I tell my children about. Players like Mike Rozier, Tommie Frazier, Dave Rimington, Trev Alberts and others. I have officially added Abdullah’s name to that list.
Out of high school Ameer Abdullah was quiet, humble and came off as a very mature high school senior. You’d never guess on the phone is the same player on the field that is breaking tackles, rushing over would-be tacklers or away from them.
After his junior year there was at least the possibility that Abdullah could have gone pro. The importance of a degree brought him back to Lincoln. On top of getting his education is the speculation about where Abdullah ends on the career rushing list for Nebraska.
Coming into his senior year, Abdullah was already No. 8 with 2,977 yards. Through the first two games of the 2014 campaign, Abdullah has gained 286 yards. The additional yardage so far this season has lifted Abdullah to No. 6 passing Calvin Jones and Ken Clark.
We are mentioning some Nebraska rushing royalty now. Ironically, the next on the list is one of everyone’s recent favorites; Rex Burkhead. Burkhead is just 53 yards ahead of Abdullah all-time. The next, another recent favorite, Roy Helu just 75 yards beyond that.
It’s quite possible, that if Abdullah runs for just slightly more than what he is averaging per game this year (159 yards to be exact) he could pass Heisman Trophy winning quarterback Eric Crouch who led Nebraska to the National Championship game against Miami in the 2002 Rose Bowl.
Getting beyond the No. 3 spot will take some more effort. Again, using his average this year it might take three games to pass Ahman Green at 3,880 yards. Beyond that, immortality. Mike Rozier sits atop the list at 4,780 yards. Mathematically, it’s not out of the question. Is it something that Abdullah is likely thinking about at night? Probably not.
We can though. We can think about and project where Abdullah will potentially end up. Beyond the career rushing leaders though there are names not on the list that are on personal lists as top or best or favorite running backs in Nebraska history. Abdullah is steadily climbing up the charts and personal lists of many in Husker Nation.
Some of the most popular moments range from the Superman catch against Michigan in the Big House to game winning magic against McNeese State a week ago. These plays or moments in time help a Heisman campaign, keep Nebraska fans on the edge of their seats and propels him up their own personal lists.