Honors & Awards
» Second-Team All-Big Ten Running Back (Coaches, 2012)
» Second-Team All-Big Ten Punt Returner (Phil Steele, 2012)
» Third-Team All-Big Ten Running Back (Phil Steele, 2012)
» Honorable-Mention All-Big Ten Running Back (Media, 2012)
» 2012 Johnny “The Jet” Rodgers Return Specialist Award Semifinalist (1 of 12)
» Nebraska Lifter of the Year (2012)
» Big Ten Special Teams Player of the Week (vs. Idaho State, 2012)
» Nebraska Scholar-Athlete Honor Roll (Fall, 2012)
» First-Team All-Big Ten (Kickoff Returner, Yahoo.com, 2011)
» Second-Team All-Big Ten (Kickoff Returner, Phil Steele, 2011)
» Big Ten All-Freshman Team (Kickoff Returner and Punt Returner, Yahoo.com, 2011)
» Big Ten All-Freshman Team (Punt Returner and Running Back, ESPN.com, 2011)
» Big Ten Special Teams Player of the Week (vs. Fresno State, 2011)
» Big Ten Freshman of the Week (vs. Fresno State, 2011)
» School Record Holder for Single-Game Kickoff Returns Yards (211 vs. Fresno State, 2011)
I-back Ameer Abdullah took over a leading role at running back in 2012 while senior Rex Burkhead battled a knee injury throughout the season. Abdullah was more than up to the challenge as the Huskers’ workhorse at I-back, rushing for more than 1,100 yards, while producing six 100-yard rushing games.
The 5-9, 190-pound Abdullah returns for his junior season and is a key part of an explosive Nebraska offense. A year ago, Abdullah earned second-team All-Big Ten honors from the conference coaches for his breakout effort, and he is poised to push for higher honors in 2013.
Abdullah finished his sophomore season with 1,137 rushing yards, giving Nebraska a 1,000-yard rusher for the third straight season. He and quarterback Taylor Martinez each topped 1,000 rushing yards last season, giving Nebraska a pair of returning 1,000-yard rushers for the first time in school history. The duo is also one of only two returning 1,000-yard pairs in the country for the 2013 season.
The heavier rushing load in 2012 limited Abdullah’s role as a return man, but he still showed the ability to be one of the nation’s best in that area. He could once again figure into the Huskers’ special teams plans this fall.
Abdullah played in all 14 games with seven starts and his play helped Nebraska lead the Big Ten in both rushing offense and total offense. Abdullah carried 226 times for 1,137 yards and eight touchdowns, while averaging 5.0 yards per carry. Abdullah’s 81.2 rushing yards per game ranked ninth in the Big Ten, while his 134.6 all-purpose yards per contest were good for fourth in the conference.
Abdullah showed the ability to be an every-down back in 2012, as he carried the ball more than 15 times in eight games, including more than 30 carries against both Arkansas State and Penn State. Out of the backfield, Abdullah caught 24 passes for 178 yards and two touchdowns. Abdullah also averaged 21.2 yards on 17 kickoff returns to rank in the top 10 in the conference, and also averaged 13.1 yards on 16 punt returns.
After Burkhead went down early in the Southern Miss contest, Abdullah took over as the lead back and ran 15 times for 81 yards. He also caught four passes in the game, including his first career receving touchdown.
With Burkhead sidelined the following week against UCLA, Abdullah earned his first career start and responded with 16 carries for 119 yards and two touchdowns. The 100-yard game marked the first of six for Abdullah in 2012, including each of his first five starts. Abdullah became the first NU player since 1994 to rush for at least 100 yards in each of his first five starts.
Abdullah rushed for a career-high 167 yards on 30 carries against Arkansas State, including a career-long 45-yard run. A week later, he ran for 49 yards and a touchdown against Idaho State, and also had an 81-yard punt return for a touchdown.
Abdullah produced one of the most prolific all-purpose games in school history against Wisconsin in Lincoln. He totaled 252 all-purpose yards, including five kickoff returns for 142 yards, highlighted by an 83-yard return in the first quarter. He also ran 10 times for 70 yards and had 22 receiving yards. Abdullah also had a big night in the return game at Ohio State with eight returns for 128 yards. He also scored a pair of rushing touchdowns against the Buckeyes.
The running of Abdullah helped key Nebraska’s six-game win streak in the second half of the regular season. He ran 19 times for 101 yards at Northwestern in a 29-28 win, then had 24 carries for 101 hard-fought yards in a 23-9 victory over Michigan in Lincoln, including 85 rushing yards after halftime.
Abdullah ran for 110 yards on 22 carries against one of the nation’s top run defenses at Michigan State and also caught a touchdown pass in the game. He continued to be a workhorse in a comeback win against Penn State, carrying a career-high 31 times for 116 yards, moving him past 1,000 career rushing yards. Abdullah carried 18 times for 79 yards against Minnesota to move past 1,000 rushing yards on the season.
With Burkhead returning to action for the final three games, Abdullah’s number of carries decreased, however he ran for a combined 127 yards on 39 carries in the final three games of the year to finish with 1,137 yards.
Abdullah was one of six true freshman to see action in 2011, appearing in every game. He averaged 29.3 yards on 26 kickoff returns, while also serving as NU's lead punt returner and averaging 7.1 yards on 15 returns. In the running game, Abdullah was typically the first back in for starting I-back Rex Burkhead, and Abdullah finished with 150 yards on 42 carries, including touchdown runs against Penn State, Michigan and South Carolina.
Abdullah burst out of the gate in non-conference action, highlighted by his 228 return yards against Fresno State. His 211 kickoff return yards broke the previous school record by 25 yards and his 100-yard TD return gave NU a nine-point lead in the fourth quarter. He had a 66-yard kickoff return to set up a touchdown against Washington, then had his best rushing game at Wyoming, with three carries for 36 yards, including a 24-yard run.
Abdullah provided a major spark on special teams at Wisconsin, returning seven kickoffs for 187 yards, for the second-highest total in school history. Five of his returns were for 25 yards or more. He totaled 133 all-purpose yards against Ohio State, including 11 yards on kickoff returns. Abdullah saw extensive action at running back at Minnesota, carrying seven times for 30 yards. Abdullah scored Nebraska's first touchdown at Penn State on a two-yard run with 44 seconds remaining in the first half. He added a three-yard touchdown run at Michigan and then carried a career-high 12 times for 35 yards against Iowa. He added his third rushing touchdown of the season from a yard out against South Carolina in the Capital One Bowl.
Before Nebraska (Homewood HS)
Abdullah was a running and receiving threat for Homewood High School and Coach Dickey Wright. Abdullah rushed for 1,800 yards and 24 touchdowns, while catching 33 passes for 515 yards as a senior. He also scored four touchdowns on punt returns to help Homewood to a 6-4 record.
Abdullah was named the South region player of the year by the Birmingham News. He scored the winning TD in the Mississippi-Alabama All-Star Classic, and was selected to participate in the Offense-Defense All-American bowl, where he starred as a defensive back.
As a junior, Abdullah rushed for more than 1,000 yards and had 24 catches for more than 200 yards. Rivals.com ranked him as one of the top 20 “athlete” prospects in the country and one of the top 10 players in Alabama. He was also ranked as one of the nation’s top 60 running backs by Scout.com. Abdullah chose Nebraska after also visiting Tennessee and Vanderbilt, and he had a host of offers including USC, Texas A&M and South Carolina.
Ameer is the son of Kareem and Aisha Abdullah, and he was born on June 13, 1993. A young leader in the Huskers’ Life Skills program, Abdullah has volunteered time at the Belmont Rec Center, Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital and with Husker Heroes. He was honored as a Nebraska Student-Athlete HERO Award winner. Abdullah has not declared a major.
Abdullah's Career Statistics
||24 at Wyoming
||45 vs. Arkansas State
45 at Arkansas State
Receiving: Career: 25 catches, 189 yards, 2 TDs, long of 26 vs. Arkansas State (2012)
2012: 24 catches, 178 yards, 2 TDs, long of 26 vs. Arkansas State
2011: 1 catch, 11 yards, 0 TDs, long of 11 at Wyoming
Kickoff Returns: Career: 43 ret. 1,123 yds, 1 TD, 26.1 average,
long of 100 vs. Fresno St. (2011)
2012: 17 returns, 360 yards, 0 TDs, 21.2 average, long of 83 vs. Wisconsin2011: 26 returns, 763 yards, 1 TD, 29.3 average, long of 100 vs. Fresno State (TD)
Punt Returns: Career: 31 returns, 316 yards, 1 TD, 10.2 average,
long of 81 vs. Idaho St. (2012)
2012: 16 returns, 209 yards, 1 TD, 13.1 average, long of 81 vs. Idaho State (TD)
2011: 15 returns, 106 yards, 0 TD, 7.1 average, long of 28 vs. Chattanooga
All-Purpose: Career: 2,915 yards, 367 attempts, 107.9 yards per game,
7.9 yards per attempt
2012: 1,884 yards, 283 attempts, 134.6 yards per game, 6.7 yards per attempt
2011: 1,031 yards, 79.3 yards per game, 84 attempts, 12.3 yards per attempt
» Touchdowns - 2, at UCLA, vs. Arkansas State, vs. Idaho State, at Ohio State (2012)
» Carries - 31 vs. Penn State (2012)
» Rushing Yards - 167 vs. Arkansas State (2012)
» Receptions - 5 at Northwestern (2012)
» Punt Return Yards - 80 vs. Idaho State (2012)
» Kickoff Return Yards - 211 vs. Fresno State (2011)*
» All-Purpose Yards - 252 vs. Wisconsin (2012)
* school record