Honors & Awards

  • First-Team CoSIDA Academic All-American (2011, 2012)
  • National Football Foundation Scholar Athlete Award (2012, 1 of 15)
  • Academic All-District VII (2011, 2012)
  • Academic All-Big Ten (2011, 2012)
  • Allstate AFCA Good Works Team (1 of 11; Captain)
  • Big Ten Sportsmanship Award (2012)
  • Guy Chamberlin Trophy (2012)
  • Honorable-Mention All-American (Sports Illustrated, 2011)
  • Doak Walker Semifinalist (1 of 10, 2011)
  • First-Team All-Big Ten (Coaches, Media, ESPN, Phil Steele, 2011)
  • Second-Team All-Big Ten (Yahoo.com, 2011)
  • Rivals.com Big Ten Player of the Week (vs. Ohio St., vs. Michigan St., 2011)
  • School Record Holder for Single-Game Carries (38 vs. Iowa, 2011)
  • Tied School Record For Most Consecutive Games with a Touchdown (10, 2011)
  • Nebraska Team MVP (2011)
  • Nebraska Team Captain (2011, 2012)
  • Honorable-Mention All-Big 12 (Coaches, 2010)
  • First-Team Academic All-Big 12 (2010)
  • Nebraska Lifter of the Year (2010, 2011)
  • Big 12 Commissioner's Academic Honor Roll (Fall, 2009, Fall 2010, Spring 2011)
  • Nebraska Scholar-Athlete Honor Roll (Fall, 2011, 2012; Spring, 2012)
  • Brook Berringer Citizenship Team (2010, 2011, 2012)
  • Uplifting Athletes Rare Disease Champion Award (2012) 

I-back Rex Burkhead wrapped up one of the most successful all-around careers in Nebraska football history in 2012. Burkhead finished his career among the top five all-time rushers in Nebraska history, while also making his mark in the classroom and the community during his time in the NU program.

The 5-11, 210-pound Burkhead was limited throughout his senior season because of a sprained knee he suffered early in the season opener against Southern Miss. Burkhead returned to action three weeks later, but twice re-aggravated the injury during Big Ten action. The injury limited Burkhead to just eight games in 2012.

Burkhead made the most of his limited action, rushing for 675 yards and five touchdowns on just 98 carries in his senior season. Burkhead averaged 6.9 yards per carry and also caught 11 passes, including two touchdown receptions. His rushing yardage pushed Burkhead's career total to 3,329 yards, good for fifth on the NU career rushing list. He also had three 100-yard rushing games, giving him 14 games with at least 100 rushing yards in his career. Burkhead closed his career in outstanding fashion, rushing for 140 yards and a touchdown against Georgia, while also catching four passes including a touchdown grab.

In addition to his impact on the field, Burkhead continued to earn accolades for his work off the field. The Plano, Texas, native earned Capital One/CoSIDA first-team Academic All-America honors for the second straight season, and became the 15th Husker football student-athlete to be a two-time first-team academic All-American. He also earned his degree in history in December, completing his undergraduate work in just 3 1/2 years. Burkhead was also among an elite group of 15 FBS football student-athletes to be named a National Football Foundation National Scholar-Athlete in 2012.

Burkhead was one of 11 FBS football players named to the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team, and in December he was named captain of that team. Burkhead was also honored by his teammates being elected a team captain for the second straight season.

2012 (Senior)
Southern Miss:
Was limited to just three carries due to an injury early in the first quarter... still ranked second on the team in rushing on the day with 68 yards and one touchdown... 57 of his 68 yards came on a then-career-long TD run on NU's first possession of the game, topping a 52-yard run in 2011's season opener against Chattanooga... his score came just 1:18 into the game, the quickest score in a Nebraska opener since 1998 when NU scored in 48 seconds in a 56-27 win over Louisiana Tech... moved to 11th on the NU career rushing list with 2,722 yards, passing Derek Brown (2,699). UCLA: Did not play against the Bruins due to an injury he suffered in the season opener against Southern Miss. Arkansas State: Did not play in his second straight game due to an injury he suffered in the season opener against Southern Miss. Idaho State: Returned to the starting lineup after missing the previous two games with a knee injury... rushed eight times for 119 yards, including a then-career-long 61-yard touchdown run in the first quarter to open the scoring.. all of his rushing yards came in the first half... the 61-yard run bettered Burkhead's career-long of 57 yards in the season opener against Southern Miss... marked the 12th, 100-yard rushing game of his career, tying for the eighth most in school history... moved into the top 10 on the NU career rushing list with 2,841 career rushing yards to rank seventh in school history... moved up from 11th at the start of the day, and passed Cory Ross (2,743), Dahrran Diedrick (2,745), Lawrence Phillips (2,777) and I.M. Hipp (2,814). Wisconsin: Rushed 18 times for 86 yards, including 63 yards in the second half... added one three-yard touchdown catch on the night, his first of the season and fourth of his career. Ohio State: Rushed 14 times for 119 yards, including a career-long 73-yard run in the first quarter, bettering his previous long run of 61 yards against Idaho State... posted the three longest runs of his career in 2012 (57 yards vs. Southern Miss, 61 yards vs. Idaho State, 73 yards vs. Ohio State).... with his 119 yards against OSU, he pushed his career rushing total to 3,046 yards to become the seventh Husker to rush for 3,000 career yards... hit exactly 3,000 yards with his 73-yard run in the first quarter... moved up to sixth place on the NU career rushing list, moving past Ken Clark (3,037 career yards)... his 119 yards marked the 13th 100-yard rushing game of his career and his second of 2012 (also Idaho State)... topped the century mark for the second straight year against Ohio State after running 26 times for 119 yards and a touchdown against the Buckeyes last year in Lincoln. Northwestern: Made his 20th start at Nebraska, but had to leave the game following an injury during NU's second offensive possession... carried the ball four times for 18 yards. Michigan: Did not play against the Wolverines due to a knee injury. Michigan State: Did not play against the Spartans due to a knee injury. Penn State: Did not paly agasint PSU due to a knee injury. Minnesota: Was unable to play in his final game at Memorial Stadium due to a knee injury. Iowa: Took the field in the second half after missing four straight games with a knee injury... rushed for 69 yards on 16 carries... in the fourth quarter alone, he carried the ball 10 times for 57 yards... scored the game winning TD in the third quarter on a three-yard run... was first touchdown since scoring two rushing touchdowns against Idaho State on Sept. 22... increased his totals to four rushing touchdowns this season and 29 in his career... caught one pass for six yards. Wisconsin (Big Ten Championship): Rushed 11 times for 61 yards... increased his career rushing total to 3,189 yards, moving him into fifth place on the Nebraska career rushing list... Georgia (Capital One Bowl): Burkhead rushed 24 times for a season-high 140 yards... notched his 30th career TD run on a two-yard run in the third quarter... also caught a season-high four passes, including a 16-yard touchdown catch in the second quarter.... closed his career with 3,329 rushing yards and 14 career 100-yard rushing games.

2011 (Junior)
Burkhead was in the starting lineup for every game during his junior season and was a workhorse for an offense that finished in the top 20 nationally in rushing. Burkhead opened the year with 75 yards on just 11 carries against Tennessee-Chattanooga, including a career-long 52-yard run. Burkhead tallied 55 yards on 15 carries against Fresno State and had a pair of touchdown runs. He posted his first 100-yard game of the season against Washington, rolling up 120 yards on 22 carries, including 84 yards and two touchdowns in the second half. Both scores were one-yard runs nine seconds apart in the third quarter on consecutive Husker offensive plays. Burkhead rushed for a career-high 170 yards and two touchdowns on just 15 carries at Wyoming. He put the Huskers on the scoreboard with a 45-yard TD run in the first quarter and added a 16-yard score in the third quarter.

Burkhead opened Big Ten play with 96 yards and a touchdown on 18 carries at No. 7 Wisconsin. A week later, he played a key role in a comeback win over Ohio State, with 26 carries for 119 yards and a touchdown. He had 96 rushing yards in the fourth quarter, including a 17-yard scoring run with 5:10 left to give NU its first lead. He also set career bests in receptions (5) and receiving yards (59), including a 30-yard touchdown catch to tie the game in the fourth quarter.

Burkhead posted his fourth 100-yard game in five weeks at Minnesota with 117 yards and a score on 23 carries. In that game, he became the 26th Husker to reach 2,000 career rushing yards. He was a workhorse against No. 9 Michigan State, rushing for 130 yards and two scores on a then-career-high 35 carries. In addition to a pair of one-yard TD runs, Burkhead hauled in a 27-yard TD reception to extend the Huskers' lead to 24-3.

He was limited to 69 rushing yards on 22 carries against Northwestern, but matched his career high with five catches for 34 yards. Against a strong Penn State defense, Burkhead carried 25 times for 121 yards and a touchdown, surpassing the 1,000-yard mark for the season. He was held without a touchdown for the first time in 2011 at Michigan, when he ran 10 times for 36 yards. Against Iowa, Burkhead had a school-record 38 carries for 160 yards and one touchddown and posted his seventh 100-yard rushing game of 2011. His 38 carries broke Cory Ross' previous record of 37 carries at the 2003 Alamo Bowl. Burkhead carried the ball nine times during the Huskers' touchdown drive to close the first half. Nebraska ran the ball 13 times during the 15-play 80-yard drive that gave NU a 10-0 lead. Burkhead closed his junior year with 23 carries for 89 yards against South Carolina, and also tied his career best with five catches for 35 yards.

2010 (Sophomore)
Burkhead played in all 14 games with two starts and earned honorable-mention All-Big 12 honors, as he finished with 951 rushing yards and seven touchdowns, while averaging 5.5 yards per carry. Burkhead accounted for 104 yards on just seven touches in the opener against Western Kentucky. He ran for 57 yards, including a 20-yard score, on five carries, while hauling in a pair of catches for 47 yards.

Burkhead totaled 118 yards against Idaho, rushing for 77 yards on nine carries, while catching three passes for 41 yards, including a career-long 31 yard reception. He was one of three players to top 100 rushing yards at Washington, with 104 yards on 13 carries, including a 19-yard fourth quarter touchdown. He added 66 yards and a touchdown against South Dakota State and contributed 57 rushing yards as Nebraska ran for 451 yards in a 48-13 win at Kansas State.

Burkhead’s role increased in the final six games after Martinez suffered an ankle injury. At Iowa State, Burkhead took a number of snaps out of the Wildcat and rushed 20 times for a season-high 129 yards and two touchdowns. He capped his effort with a 19-yard touchdown in overtime as NU escaped with a 31-30 win.

He added 77 yards and a touchdown against Kansas, then had 74 yards on 13 carries, including a season-long 33-yard run at Texas A&M. In that game, Burkhead topped 1,000 career rushing yards. Against Colorado, Burkhead did it all. He ran for 101 yards on 19 carries and completed two passes for 30 yards and two touchdowns--a 26-yarder to Brandon Kinnie and a 4-yard TD to Kyler Reed.

Burkhead rushed for 90 yards on 16 carries and had a touchdown pass against Oklahoma in the Big 12 Championship Game and ran for 39 yards against Arizona in the Holiday Bowl. 

2009 (Freshman)
Burkhead was one of six true freshmen to see action, and he finished as NU's second-leading rusher with 346 yards and three touchdowns, despite playing in just nine games.

Burkhead had nine carries for 39 yards and a touchdown in the opener against Florida Atlantic. He had three rushes for 18 yards and an 11-yard catch against Arkansas State. Burkhead had six carries for 27 yards against Louisiana-Lafayette and added four catches for 26 yards, including a 24-yard TD reception. He also had two punt returns for 59 yards. Burkhead provided a spark off the bench at Missouri with five carries for 34 yards. However, he suffered a foot injury the following week and missed the next five games. He returned against Kansas State and ran for 17 yards, while adding a nine-yard reception.

Burkhead rushed 18 times for 100 yards and a touchdown vs. Colorado. His touchdown came in the fourth quarter, capping a drive that saw Burkhead rush nine times for 55 yards. He ran for 22 yards and had two catches against Texas. In the Holiday Bowl, Burkhead had 17 carries for 89 yards and scored a touchdown. Several of his carries came out of a Wildcat set with Burkhead taking a direct snap. He also had two catches.

Before Nebraska (Plano HS)
Burkhead was a standout performer for Plano High School and Coach Jaydon McCullough. He helped Plano to a 10-2 record and the Class 5A state playoffs in 2008, rushing for 1,762 yards and 28 touchdowns. He also caught 42 passes for 594 yards and five touchdowns. Burkhead was named a first-team Class 5A all-state selection by the AP and the Dallas Morning News' All-Area Offensive Player of the Year. The Morning News listed him among the top 25 prospects in the Dallas Metroplex and as one of the top 30 recruits in the state.

During his junior season, Burkhead rushed for 1,768 yards and 29 touchdowns and caught 47 passes. His play helped Plano to a 13-2 record and a trip to the 5A state semifinals. Burkhead was an honorable-mention 5A all-state selection. Burkhead also ran for more than 1,000 yards and eight touchdowns and passed for more than 600 yards as a sophomore when he was the 2006 District 9-5A Offensive Newcomer of the Year.

Burkhead was also a basketball standout, earning first-team all-district honors as a junior and senior. He averaged 15.1 points, 5.2 rebounds and 2.6 assists as a senior and was part of a Class 5A state title in 2006. Burkhead chose Nebraska after also visiting Texas A&M, and receiving offers from dozens of other BCS schools.

Rex was born on July 2, 1990, and is the son of Rick and Robyn Burkhead. A history major at Nebraska, Burkhead earned his bachelor's degree from Nebraska in December of 2012. Burkhead was a first-team CoSIDA Academic All-American and an academic All-Big Ten selection in 2011. He was also a first-team academic All-Big 12 pick in 2010 and was a three-time Big 12 Commissioner’s Honor Roll pick. Burkhead is also one of Nebraska’s most active student-athletes in the community. He is a three-time member of the Brook Berringer Citizenship Team and was selected one of Nebraska’s Student-Athlete HERO Leadership Award winners in 2012. He was also chosen as one of Uplifting Athletes Champions of 2011-12, for helping to put a national focus on helping children with rare diseases. His outreach work has included team hospital visits, the Madonna Wheelchair Football Workshop, the FCA and the Irving Rec Center.

Burkhead's Career Statistics















34 vs. Arizona


2010 14/2 172 951 5.5 67.9 33 at Texas A&M


2011 13/13 284 1,357 4.8 104.4 52 vs. Chattanooga 15
2012 8/7 98 675 6.9 84.4 73 at Ohio State 5







73 at Ohio State


Receiving: Career: 60 receptions, 507 yards, 5 TDs, long of 31 vs. Idaho (2010)
2012: 11 receptions, 92 yards, 2 TD, long of 25 vs. Idaho State
2011: 21 receptions, 177 yards, 2 TDs, long of 30 vs. Ohio State (TD)
2010: 15 receptions, 148 yards, 0 TDs, long of 31 vs. Idaho
2009: 13 receptions, 90 yards, 1 TD, long of 24 vs. Louisiana-Lafayette
Passing: Career: 4-for-7, 46 yds, 3 TDs, long of 26 vs. Colorado (2010)
2012: 1-for-1, 11 yards, 0 TDs; 2011: 0-for-2, 0 yds, 0 TDs; 2010: 3-for-4, 35 yds, 3 TDs
Punt Returns: Career: 11 returns, 117 yards, 0 TD, 10.6 average, long of 33 vs. ULL
2012: 1 return, -1 yard, 0 TD, -1.0 average, long of -1 vs. Wisconsin
2011: 1 return, 19 yards, 0 TD, 19.0 average, long of 19 vs. Washington
2010: 5 returns, 26 yards, 0 TDs, 18.4 average, long of 15 vs. Colorado
2009: 4 returns, 73 yards, 0 TD, 18.3 average, long of 33 vs. Louisiana-Lafayette

Single-Game Highs
» Rushes-
38 at Iowa (2011)*
» Rushing Yards-170 at Wyoming (2011)
» Rushing Touchdowns-2 five times (most recently vs. Idaho State, 2012)
» Receptions-5 twice (Minnesota, Northwestern in 2011)
» Receiving Yards-59 yards vs. Ohio State (2011)
» Receiving Touchdowns-1 five times (most recently vs. Georgia, 2013 Cap One Bowl)
» Total Touchdowns-3 vs. Michigan State (2011)
» Passing Yards-30 vs. Colorado (2010)
» Passing Touchdowns-2 vs. Colorado (2010)
» Total Offense-178 yards vs. Ohio State (2011)
*school record