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Old 01-05-2012, 09:27 AM    (permalink
coltsarenumber32
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Default Rex Burkhead?

Hey fellas, wondering what you guys think about Nebraska's Rex Burkhead as an NFL back? he's a junior, yet he is nowhere to be found in most rankings, and I haven't even found a scouting report on him.

he carried the load and was pretty impressive for the Cornhuskers, and I think that's saying a lot considering their quarterback is so inept and everyone knows they want to run the ball.

wanted to get thoughts from other draft heads out there. is this guy good enough to play at the next level, and where do you think he gets drafted if he declares?
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Old 01-05-2012, 11:59 AM    (permalink
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From what I've seen from the guy, he is talented, but what I like the most is that it looks like he gives it his all every play. I called it a "Tebow Quality" because the guy looked like he was fighting not to lose. I think he is a little more talented than Jacob Hester coming out, but I cannot see him being drafted before round 3 and that I feel would be a bit of a reach.
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Old 01-05-2012, 12:21 PM    (permalink
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He's much more talented than Jacob Hester and i think he'll have a chance at a good career with the right team. Looks like he can catch the ball and block some too. For the geritol set he reminds me a bit of Rob Carpenter.
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Old 01-05-2012, 12:28 PM    (permalink
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He's much more talented than Jacob Hester and i think he'll have a chance at a good career with the right team. Looks like he can catch the ball and block some too. For the geritol set he reminds me a bit of Rob Carpenter.
Bobby Carpenter's dad, no? FB for the Giants?
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Old 01-05-2012, 12:30 PM    (permalink
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Bobby Carpenter's dad, no? FB for the Giants?
For sure. My recollection was he played his best ball for the Oilers.
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Old 01-05-2012, 12:38 PM    (permalink
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He's much more talented than Jacob Hester and i think he'll have a chance at a good career with the right team. Looks like he can catch the ball and block some too. For the geritol set he reminds me a bit of Rob Carpenter.
I was thinking a middle between Hester and Gerhart?
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Old 01-05-2012, 07:22 PM    (permalink
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He reminds me of a poor mans Emmit Smith. I think he should declare. He has nothing left to prove at the college level. His draft status won't rise any by staying and his body already took a pounding this year. All he needs to do is run a 4.55 forty or better and he should be a 4th round draft pick. Hopefully people can see past his race but I doubt it.
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Old 01-06-2012, 08:14 AM    (permalink
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He reminds me of a poor mans Emmit Smith. I think he should declare. He has nothing left to prove at the college level. His draft status won't rise any by staying and his body already took a pounding this year. All he needs to do is run a 4.55 forty or better and he should be a 4th round draft pick. Hopefully people can see past his race but I doubt it.
Look at every post before yours...nobody here can look past race. He is 5'11" 210lbs. Why is he being compared to Hester, Gerhart etc...?
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Old 01-06-2012, 03:27 PM    (permalink
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He's going to time a lot better than people would expect. Not elite speed by any means but he has a good amount of quickness. Personally I'd take him over Ball if he came out, he looks to be a solid third rounder. Tough, quick, and has great vision, he's going to be a solid back.
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Old 01-06-2012, 03:38 PM    (permalink
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I have seen every Nebraska Game this Season and I think Burkhead will be a Guy who will never be a Top 10 RB in the League but A guy who could be playing in the NFL for 10 Years because he is a guy who is a hard Worker, Smart and gives it his all every play.
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Old 01-06-2012, 03:50 PM    (permalink
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I have seen every Nebraska Game this Season and I think Burkhead will be a Guy who will never be a Top 10 RB in the League but A guy who could be playing in the NFL for 10 Years because he is a guy who is a hard Worker, Smart and gives it his all every play.
Is that good you had to sit through every Nebraska game this year? just kidding (sort of).

Not sure any back can be projected to a 10 year career because life expectancy is about half that but i like the guy. He looks like the kind of guy you can rotate and have him out there on long yardage situations because of his hands. Burkhead seems to have the ability to make the first guy miss albeit in a conferance where they dont play much defense. Referring to the Big-12 there.
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Old 01-06-2012, 03:51 PM    (permalink
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Why is being compared to Hester? Totally different running styles. Burkhead is not a FB.
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Old 01-06-2012, 03:57 PM    (permalink
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If anyone watches The League this is just a hilarious thread to read.
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Old 06-24-2012, 12:24 PM    (permalink
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Is that good you had to sit through every Nebraska game this year? just kidding (sort of).

Not sure any back can be projected to a 10 year career because life expectancy is about half that but i like the guy. He looks like the kind of guy you can rotate and have him out there on long yardage situations because of his hands. Burkhead seems to have the ability to make the first guy miss albeit in a conferance where they dont play much defense. Referring to the Big-12 there.

yeah but he played in the big 10 last year. I think if the defense is improved then we will see a much more amazing Burkhead. His ability to maneuver in tight spaces is incredible, he is very shifty and has a great initial burst, plus some nice power. The problem last year is I think he was coached to get the first down and go down because of how crappy the defense was, the coach wanted to play more of a ball control offense, because there were times where he used agility or power like a nice stiff arm to get more yardage, breaking tackles easily, but if they were playing a good offense where the d was struggling he would usually get to the first down and go down pretty easily if they weren't close to field goal range or the endzone.

I think he will work his way up to a 2nd rounder this year. Nothing like Hester, Gerhart or Carpenter. Many older Nebraska fans have compared his style to Mike Rozier(5'10 209) who only had one 1,000 yard season in the NFL (957 in 11 games the year before) but know he did well in the USFL as well having a 1300 yard season in 85 and then over 400 in the same year for the Oilers, carrying the ball for 450 times and 59 receptions that year which might have be the reason his yards and ypc dropped for a year after that being that guys tend to be less effective with a workload like that. Overall he had a solid career. Might have had more 1k seasons if he didn't touch the ball 500 times in that one year but he did play pro ball for 9 years, 10 seasons.

Taylor Martinez needs to be a better threat throwing the ball and the line has to block a little better, although Burkhead can squeeze through tight spaces, having guys play a little further off the line might help. Martinez hasn't even been the same running threat that he was in 2010 which also helps tremendously.

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Old 06-25-2012, 12:35 AM    (permalink
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haha white runningback being compared to other white runningbacks. and being called a "hard worker"
Its not funny, it is disrespectful to both races, it implies that whites have to work really hard to succeed and aren't born with natural talent, yet also implies that somehow blacks are not hard workers, that they are somehow lazy.

Like I said in my above post, Rex Burkhead compares best to Mike Rozier in the way he runs, I found some old footage of him and I agree. He had a 3 good seasons and a bunch of solid ones, like I said, the 500+ touches in one year probably had some long term affect on his ability, yet he was still a two time pro bowler with 9 years playing pro ball.

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Old 06-25-2012, 05:12 AM    (permalink
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Is a projection from that offense. Bearing in mind Roy Helu had a great combine and went in the 4th round - I would expect Burkhead to run slower and therefore be a 5th/6th round pick. Never going to be anything more than a tough between the tackles type - needs to be paired with a smaller/quicker outside back. There's a place for him on a roster and he does run very hard, but a better college player than pro prospect.
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Old 06-25-2012, 08:35 AM    (permalink
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Just seen this over at Draft Insiders (scroll down a way for Nebraska) - they rate him as an undrafted free agent. Not sure if that's a personal opinion or info from National Scouting...
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Old 06-25-2012, 09:13 AM    (permalink
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He has a better skillset than Helu, although Helu put up better numbers ypc wise, but that was more because of how the offense was running. Taylor Martinez had just emerged as a runner and teams were keying in on him for the option leaving Helu wide open quite a bit, where Rex would be mostly on power plays, but still had a higher ypc than 2011. Last year they Martinez wasn't the same threat as a runner, he still ran but wasn't the homerun threat, he would get the first down and slide at times. Also, they went to more of an i power attack making Burkhead more of a workhorse, something Helu wasn't, and they said they would continue to do that this year. If Martinez improves in the passing game there will be bigger lanes for Burkhead to run through. He isn't strictly an inside runner and I think constantly seeing smaller creases due to the blocking and limited passing attack will prepare him well for the NFL, where when you saw Helu run, the type of plays they had him running it was hard to see that translate to the NFL, games where Martinez had run 100+ yards in several plays, pretty much every homerun for Helu was an option out of the pistol where Martinez would fake one way and Helu would carry it the other. Helu showed little power when running in college and not a guy that excelled in between the tackles which is why scouts had their doubts. Despite his timed speed, from people saw on tape they didn't think it would translate to elite speed on the field, so as a prospect you had a big back without homerun speed that didn't show much elusiveness, power/didn't break many tackles or great ability to run in between the tackles, and didn't show promise in the passing game which put him in the 4th and like someone said as a negative against Burkhead, played in the big 12 while Burkhead will have played 2 years in the big10 when he comes out. I think people will be surprised by Burkhead's 40 time, he has enough to run to the outside but there are faster backs on the roster but I don't think it means he is slow by any means, definitely more elusive than Helu in tight spaces, very shifty and great burst, although could work on his open field running. At worst he will be like a Pierre Thomas (skillset wise) as a pro prospect, who has done quite well when not injured. Yes he went undrafted but outperformed a 4th rounder who I believe is not doing anything in the league.
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Old 06-25-2012, 11:19 AM    (permalink
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He's obviously just like Peyton Hillis, Mike Alstott, Brian Leonard, and Jacob Hester. If you see something different, you don't know football.

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Old 06-25-2012, 01:26 PM    (permalink
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Stop comparing Burkhead to Mike Rozier. Rozier was arguably the best player in college football the year he won the Heisman. I've never watched a Nebraska football game and even thought Burkhead was the best player in the game.

And no RB is ever coached to get the first down and then go down to the ground. That's excuse making, and if that's what you see in Burkhead's game that's not a positive analysis concerning his strength and balance.

Burkhead is not a better RB prospect than Helu, by nature of the fact that Helu was a 4.3 guy at Nebraska and ran a 4.4 predraft. Helu isn't real shifty and his instincts are average, but he gets by because of his raw speed.

Who the heck didn't think Helu didn't have 'homerun' speed, besides you??
What's special about Burkhead?? I think he's about maxed out and doesn't possess much pro upside.

I see a backup/ST for him as a best possible outcome.
If you look at all 32 NFL teams and don't see a situation where Burkhead is better than the starter, he's not that good a prospect.

Don't worry about Burkhead, he's going to get a chance to prove whether or not he's NFL caliber in some team's TC. Maybe he's got enough stuff to make in the pros, but I'm not so sure.
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Old 06-25-2012, 03:54 PM    (permalink
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Stop comparing Burkhead to Mike Rozier. Rozier was arguably the best player in college football the year he won the Heisman. I've never watched a Nebraska football game and even thought Burkhead was the best player in the game.

And no RB is ever coached to get the first down and then go down to the ground. That's excuse making, and if that's what you see in Burkhead's game that's not a positive analysis concerning his strength and balance.

Burkhead is not a better RB prospect than Helu, by nature of the fact that Helu was a 4.3 guy at Nebraska and ran a 4.4 predraft. Helu isn't real shifty and his instincts are average, but he gets by because of his raw speed.

Who the heck didn't think Helu didn't have 'homerun' speed, besides you??
What's special about Burkhead?? I think he's about maxed out and doesn't possess much pro upside.

I see a backup/ST for him as a best possible outcome.
If you look at all 32 NFL teams and don't see a situation where Burkhead is better than the starter, he's not that good a prospect.

Don't worry about Burkhead, he's going to get a chance to prove whether or not he's NFL caliber in some team's TC. Maybe he's got enough stuff to make in the pros, but I'm not so sure.

NFL combine breakdown:


Helu has enough size and speed to serve as a backup but probably won't be a full-time load back in the NFL. Isn't your prototypical inbetween-the-tackles or game-breaking back. Runs hard but doesn't pick up as many yards after contact as you'd like to see. Can get to the perimeter and get headed vertically but doesn't have home-run speed or great elusiveness. Somewhat of a liability in passing situations. Not a polished route-runner, hands are only average, and doesn't protect the passer with much technique or passion. Helu's still a big back who can run and should be selected on Day 3


You don't know what a back is coached to do. Ive seen him break multiple tackles easily after the first down, and other games just get the first down, no matter if it was 1 yard, 3 yards, 5 yard or 10 yards etc, even a few 3rd and 12's, 15's etc.. Ive had coaches tell runningbacks (at the FCS level) to get the first down and don't try anything fancy, just get the first down and secure the ball. It was on a team with a terrible defense. Ive seen guys get chewed out because they reversed field etc and went against the coaches "no you make one cut, get the first down and thats it!"

Yes just like every other player like Burkhead they just max out in college with no room for improvement. Thats what they say for all of the "hard workers" and guys "that bring their lunch pail to work". The guy was a junior last year carrying the full load for the first time on a team with no other threats. Where was the passing game. Maybe try to find some old Nebraska games, but Mike Rozier and Burkhead share some similar qualities in style. Rozier played on a different team during a different time against diferent players, but the running styles are similar and Rozier didn't have his Heisman season when he was 21, which was the age of Burkhead last year, he had it at 22, which Burkhead will be in August. They both did well at 21, both had 15 tds, both exceled at the toss play, which was run more frequently with Rozier. Osborne knew how to get the most out of his running game, much more than Pelini. Gill was a more efficient passer and they had Irving Fryar averaging 20 ypc his Heisman season with 700+ yards, who on the squad does Nebraska have like that? They were losing 1 or 2 games a sesason at the most, sometimes undefeated, a 3 loss season was a dissapointment, Nebraska lost 4 games last year and the 3 years before that. You seriously can't compare the talent of those teams to the ones being fielded today. Burkhead is their star recruit. Martinez was supposed to be and hasn't developed, plays like he doesn't care and turns the ball over.

Lets see, he can go to the Saints who have Pierre Thomas who is frequently injured, Mark Ingram hasn't shown anything great so far, the coach specifically said the only thing holding Ingram back is Mark Ingram. only Darren Sproles, a scatback has been great and consistent and that would be nice to pair them up.. Who do the Bengals have? BenJarvus Green Ellis who had one good season? Who do the Jets have? the slow plodder Greene who has a career long of 33 yards in several seasons with 500+ carries? I think Tebow would do better at halfback than him. You don't think he is NFL Caliber when Greene is? What about Denver, Willis McGahee is old and had a resurgence when teams focused on Tebow in the option, but I don't think he has many years left in him, Knowshon Moreno has shown no special ability, who knows how long Steven Jackson has left in St. Louis. So there are plenty of teams that could use him. There are only a handful of teams with elite backs and injuries occur all the time. I see guys with marginal skillsets become 1k rushers, I think Burkhead has more ability than a guy like Greene or BenJarvus Green Ellis.

He also wasn't as highly touted as he should have been as a rb even with his resume in Texas because people felt that he had "peaked", many of the schools wanted him as a slot receiver or another position, some at safety, which is what happened to Ryan Swope, a Texas back that wasn't as good as Burkhead but switched to the slot. Kind of a similar situation to another back that was Cali's all time rushing leader, 3rd in high school history ever, I believe only one team wanted him as a runningback? the rest at fullback or linebacker. No one thought much of him after his 1k junior season and then was 2nd in Heisman voting in the closest race ever and won the Doak Walker award. If Burkhead's senior year is just a little bit better than his junior year, he will be number 2 on Nebraska's rushing list, that is with barely playing his freshman year and splitting carries his sophomore year with Helu. Actually he doesn't even need to rush for more yardage than last year, he just needs 1225 yards to pass Ahman Green to be behind Rozier. If he has the season Rozier had in 83 then he will pass Rozier, but I don't think he will get 2000+, maybe will come close with 1500 to 1800. He needs 1300+ to break the 4000 mark, but I guess non NFL caliber backs do that all the time in major conferences like the big 10 (the big 10 is where most of his yards have come although some talented backs on the 4k+ list in the big 12) that didn't have huge holes that you could drive a truck through (like a Montee Ball)

and players get compared to greats all the time, just because you don't feel like Burkhead has a similar style to Mike Rozier based off of his HEISMAN season, not the year before means you should get your panties in a bunch. Perhaps you would be more comfortable with something like John Riggins (even though John was a speed demon out of college) Jim Taylor, maybe Craig James, or like one serious writer said, Ed Poodolak and was dead serious, seems like he had to go searching a long ways for a comparison.

Never said he was identical to the guy, just similar styles, unlike Mark Ingram being CALLED the next Emmit Smith when he came out because he wasn't that big or fast, turns out he isn't because I haven't seen the shiftiness that Smith had but I do know if you put Burkhead behind Alabama's line he would have much better production. There are many fans who saw Rozier play and feel they are comparable, and when watching footage of both, I can see why. Will he break out with 2100 yards? highly doubt it but there are some similarities. He is going to have to do a lot more to be one of the best in college football next year but I don't think he is out of the race as a Heisman contender.

From Rozier's mouth about the Heisman race in 2012, but first something from Davis

"Rex has wonderful, wonderful body control," says Davis, a fan favorite at Nebraska from 1973 to 1975, when he was known as "Tough Tony." "But the thing that's most impressive to me is his down and distance awareness and his ability to get what's needed to move the chains. He does that on as productive a basis as I've ever seen at that position, ever."

C'mon, Tony. Ever?

"You tell me a back that when it's third-and-4 or third-and-whatever gets the first down more often than Rex Burkhead," says Davis, his raspy voice rising.

If Davis' claim smacks of hyperbole, well, so be it. After all, Burkhead arguably deserves more recognition than he receives, at least on a national scale.


"He'll be up for the Heisman next year if he stays healthy and keeps doing what he's doing," Rozier says


Davis was Nebraska's No. 1 I-back as a sophomore in 1973, a 5-foot-11, 195-pound bruiser who rushed for 1,114 yards before moving to fullback as a junior.

He now jokes that he wouldn't have lasted healthwise at I-back for all the pounding he endured. He blew out an ankle early in the 1973 season and kept playing. His knees ached constantly, he said.

"But you know what, I didn't make people miss like Rex does," Davis says.


That make-defenders-miss quality is critical at such a physically demanding position ("It's freaking brutal," Davis says).

"Rex doesn't let people get clean shots on him — he takes glancing blows instead of straight-on hits," Davis says.

That said, Rozier likes that Burkhead challenges defenders in an aggressive manner.

"He'll either put his head down and go through them or go around them," Rozier says. "He's not scared to get hit. Some running backs, you can look at them and tell they're scared to get hit. They're curled up when they get hit. You've got to run through the hit, you know what I mean? You've got to give the hit."

"I took shorter steps," Rozier says. "I took pitty-pat steps before I'd try to make a cut or run somebody over. But I think Rex is fast enough."

So the the difference he states in styles is that he took shorter steps when cutting.

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Old 06-25-2012, 10:39 PM    (permalink
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Get a scouting report on Helu AFTER the combine in 2011. The dude busted out an electronic 4.42 at 219#. I'm not saying Helu is a future pro bowler, but IMO his physical tools are much better than Burkhead's.

I just don't see Mike Rozier when I watch Burkhead. In his time, Rozier was cross between Marcus Allen and Tony Dorsett. Yeah he busted in the pros, but as a pro prospect he looked like a future HOFer.

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Old 06-29-2012, 10:35 AM    (permalink
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I think Burkhead will end up being a Late 2nd or Early 3rd rounder but will end up playing for a very long time. I just Hope Nebraska doesn't run him into the Ground this year because he is our only threat on Offense. I do agree that he might not have a Special Trait in him like Elite Speed and I know it's the White RB stereotype but he is just a Hard Worker plain and simple.
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Old 06-30-2012, 02:52 PM    (permalink
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Burkhead has pretty good speed, is tough and has shown an all around ability playing the RB position. There's some concern with him primarily playing in the option offense, but he does add value as a wildcat QB because he's taken direct snaps at Nebraska and even thrown some passes.

Right now, I'd give him around a 3rd round value.
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Old 07-11-2012, 11:27 AM    (permalink
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FUNBUNCHER View Post
Get a scouting report on Helu AFTER the combine in 2011. The dude busted out an electronic 4.42 at 219#. I'm not saying Helu is a future pro bowler, but IMO his physical tools are much better than Burkhead's.

I just don't Mike Rozier when I watch Burkhead. In his time, Rozier was cross between Marcus Allen and Tony Dorsett. Yeah he busted in the pros, but as a pro prospect he looked like a future HOFer.


so you're basing this on a memory of Rozier which almost 30 years old of his final and Heisman season ( I don't think Rex has reached his full potential yet), probably not a diehard Husker fan and a highlight clip less than 3 minutes long? I am sure one more year and Rex could have just as an impressive highlight. Watching some more games, I agree, he isn't totally like Rozier, but I never said that, just similarities. Watching some more old Nebraska games, some of Rex's moves remind me of Lawrence Phillips, some of the cuts, but his physical style breaking tackles reminds me of Rozier. Diehard Nebraska fans have compared him to both. Some have compared him to Roger Craig as well but I don't know about that, he did lose his starting job to Rozier. Other fans that weren't around back then compare him to Robert Smith from the Vikings, I don't know, I don't remember him too well.

I wouldn't call Rozier a complete bust, he made the pro bowl twice in the NFL. He had success in the USFL before going to the NFL and the USFL had talent. Phillips was a bust because of his mentality and lack of dedication/off the field issues.


As far as arguably the best that year? Steve Young, Bo Jackson, William Perry, Reggie White, Vaughn Johnson, Bo was a sophomore but still made the All-American team and had a 250 yard game against a tough team in Alabama. Some people tend to rate players of the past a little higher than they actually were as if no one can compete with them from the present.

as far as the other posters, just a hard worker, I guess high motor too, not an athletic bone in his body, just heart that makes him such a good back while every team knows he is getting the ball, maybe he has some sneaky/deceptive speed, meanwhile Marcus Lattimore is explosive with no big homeruns, his 2 runs over 40 yards he was caught, one by a safety with a bad angle. Yes defenses key on him but he actually had a quaterback that can throw, where Burkhead could probably be just as good of a thrower as Martinez, at least for some of the inconsistent games.

And they haven't played in a primarily option offense (personally I don't think its a big deal either way), they have gone to more of an i formation power attack with Burkhead, probably 50/50 last year , maybe even less option being that I don't think Martinez ever figured out when to pitch and when to keep. They plan on doing even less option next year. If Martinez was still a threat to take it to the house then maybe more option, but something changed with him.


as far as Helu, who cares what he ran at the combine? its not what he runs on the field, he isn't a homerun threat. You think scouting reports of game footage should change after someone runs twice at the combine? Not unless the player runs way slower than expected. Helu had a long of 28 on 151 rushes, one play over 40 yards on 200+ touches last year. Homerun speed is overrated anyway, unless you find someone like Chris Johnson. Take for instance, the speedy Darren Sproles, his longest rush last year was 36 yards, and longest reception was 39. Jim Brown held the most 30+ yard td runs for the longest time with 6, its been broken twice, the last time was Chris Johnson with 7, DeAngelo Williams also had 7 once. Not many when you consider backs cay the ball 300+ times, well used to, not as much now with rbbc.

Anyway, I don't think his physical tools are better than Burkhead's when you look at them on the field. You can drool over a 219 pound guy running a 4.4 but at the end of the day that doesn't mean he has better physical tools. There is more to it than running in a straight line twice.
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