Rex Burkhead is not the flashiest player in the nation. He likely will not be a first round draft pick in the NFL draft. He may not even be the most publicized player in his own team’s backfield.
However, one thing is certain and that is Burkhead is the best running back you have never heard of in the Big Ten.
Burkhead led Nebraska with 1,357 yards on the ground and 15 touchdowns in the program’s first season in the conference.
He had seven games with more than 100 rushing yards, including a season high of 170 in a win at Wyoming, and scored a touchdown in 11 of the team’s 13 contests.
This is more impressive when you consider that opposing defenses could stack the box against Nebraska and dared quarterback Taylor Martinez to beat them through the air.
Martinez has been an enigma in Lincoln with his unorthodox throwing motion that resembles an Olympic shot putter more than a classic pocket passer.
The 5-11, 210-pound Texas native is not well-known around college football circles, but that could change this season if Nebraska can win 10 games this season and contend for the Big Ten conference title.
The schedule can be challenging when you look at a five game stretch from September 29th to November 3rd.
This slate of games includes home games vs. Wisconsin and Michigan, two teams that destroyed them a season ago by a combined score of 93-34.
Road dates at Ohio State and Michigan State will be a challenge and the trap game at Northwestern will be an opportunity to avenge last season’s three point loss.
If Nebraska can win three of those five games, a 10 win season will be a realistic possibility.
Burkhead will not get much attention on the national television shows or garner much Heisman buzz, but one thing for certain is that Rex Burkhead will be the team’s most important player as they chase the school’s first Big Ten title.
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Patrick is a diehard Chicago sports and avid college football fan, and the host of “The Wake-up Call,” a weekly sports show on Sportstownchicago.com Wednesday mornings from 8-10. View his show’s website here.