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September 1, 2014

Husker Buzz: Abdullah not caught up in the hype

Senior Nebraska running back Ameer Abdullah had the perfect start to his Heisman campaign this past Saturday.

The Alabama native had a career-high 232 rushing yards against Florida Atlantic, and even took part on the Huskers punt block unit.

However, instead of talking to the media about his big day following Saturday's 55-7 win, he had more important priorities on his plate - spending time with family.

"For one I was trying to beat the traffic," Abdullah said. "The traffic after a game in Lincoln is pretty bad, and I didn't want to get caught up in it. I love you guys, I love talking to you guys, but you guys aren't worth the traffic. I'm sorry.

"I had to go. My mom and dad are old people and they were in the heat all day. They wanted to go home."

Even after a career best day where he was named the Big Ten offensive player of the week Abdullah felt like he could do much more.

"I felt like I could do much better, I'm telling you," Abdullah said. "I left a lot out there and it's the worst feeling that I left a lot out there to gain and that's the good thing about football because you have the next week to prove to yourself that you can be much better."

It's comments like this that make Abdullah who he is. He's not worried about numbers or talking about the Heisman.

In fact after it was announced he won Big Ten offensive player of the week on Monday Abdullah quickly tweeted at me "Hackenburg!" for Penn State quarterback Christian Hackenberg who threw for 454 yards against Central Florida. Abdullah didn't think he deserved this award this week, and that's why he won't be taking it easy on FCS foe McNeese State on Saturday.

"You can never become complacent," Abdullah said. "You can always get better and that's something I emphasized a lot through these interviews. You can always get better at your craft and you can never feel like you arrived. There's something you can always improve on."

2012 walk-on class a special group

On Monday Pelini announced that walk-on sophomore quarterback Ryker Fyfe was officially put on scholarship. Fyfe was a part of the 2012 walk-on class, and he's now the fourth player from that class to get put on scholarship in their sophomore year. Before that, only center Mike Caputo and wide receiver Todd Peterson are the only known walk-ons in recent years to earn scholarships as sophomores.

Fyfe joins punter Sam Foltz, fullback Andy Janovich and wide receiver Brandon Reilly as players from the 2012 walk-on class to already be put on scholarship.

Offensive lineman Dylan Utter, tight end Trey Foster and wide receiver Lane Hovey were also a part of that class, which makes it one of the best groups of walk-ons we've seen come to NU in years.

The 2012 class should be a reminder of why the walk-on program is important. You can't accurately evaluate every in-state player coming out of high school and this group has already shown they were definitely scholarship worthy at that time.

Three and out

***Playing an FCS game is like using a "half-off" coupon. Last week against Florida Atlantic Nebraska paid the Owls $1 million to come to Lincoln. This week against McNeese State that number will be less than half that to in all reality get a similar type of game. I'd honestly rather player a Dakota school if you are going to play an FCS game since you know at least it means something to them and they'll bring more fans in the process.

***Nebraska's trip out to Fresno State may not be as tough as we thought. The Bulldogs defense gave up 701 yards of offense to USC this past Saturday in their 52-13 defeat. FSU's quarterback's threw four interceptions and passed for just 160 yards in the defeat. It will be interesting to see how they do against Utah on Saturday.

***Paging high school defensive end recruits. If I'm Nebraska right now that has to be priority No. 1 in this recruiting class -particularly hybrid defensive ends that can rush the passer.


Sean Callahan can be reached at sean@huskeronline.com and he can be heard each day at 6:50 am and 5:05 pm on Big Red Radio 1110 KFAB in Omaha during the football season. He can also be seen on KETV Channel 7 TV in Omaha during the fall and each week he appears on NET's Big Red Wrap Tuesday's at 7 pm.


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