The Nebraska Cornhuskers will have arguably their most key contributor returning for the 2014 football season. With injuries to senior leaders in consecutive seasons the Huskers have repeatedly been able to lean on one able-bodied ball carrier to lead their offense. Two years ago Ameer Abdullah’s mentor and prominent Husker leader Rex Burkhead was burdened for much of his senior campaign. When Burkhead struggled with his injuries the sophomore I-back was ready to step up and meet the challenge. In 2013 with Burkhead gone and Taylor Martinez back for his fourth year as a starter, Martinez and Abdullah were projected to lead one of the Big Ten’s most potent offenses. Unfortunately for the Huskers and their devoted fanbase, Martinez was hampered by nagging injuries for the entirety of his senior season bringing his illustrious career as a Nebraska Cornhusker to an inglorious end. Still, with Martinez gone Abdullah was once again poised to lead the Huskers offense through their difficult Big Ten schedule.
Many predicted that after two outstanding seasons as the premier player at one of the nation’s top programs Abdullah would be prepared to take his talents to the NFL. To the delight of the Husker Nation, Abdullah shockingly chose not to forgo his senior season and will return for another year of football. Abdullah comes from a large family that places education as a high priority. He has eight siblings and all of them have received a college degree. Recently Abdullah spoke to the press and outlined some of the reasons that he choose to return to the Lincoln for one more year.
Abdullah did not share the exact results of the NFL Draft exploratory committee but was rather candid in saying they were confident that if he had choose to enter the 2014 NFL Draft that he would most likely be selected in the first-half of the first round. This may only be speculation, but it is obvious that Abdullah did not return because he was displeased with the results that were reported to him. His draft stock is unlikely to increase as a result of another season as Nebraska’s featured ball carrier. In fact some might argue it that is more likely his draft stock could fall as it will be extremely difficult to have a third consecutive season with the productivity that is now expected from him. Also it is likely that Abdullah will share more carries next season and there is of course the chance that other running backs around the country will have breakout seasons and leap-frog him in rankings when it comes to the NFL Draft. None of this seemed to affect Abdullah.
Most likely Abdullah chose to return because of his personal drive to improve himself. He knows that he can improve himself as a football player in another season at Nebraska while obtaining his degree and furthering his education. One year at Nebraska means two things; improving himself academically and as a football player. Entering the draft only offers one; improvement as a football player. Abdullah will be ready next season and hopefully the NFL will be salivating as they await his arrival.