« Football 2014

Ameer Abdullah

School

Nebraska

Position
I-back
Major
History

Classroom

The youngest of nine children, Adbullah is an accomplished student and will graduate from Nebraska in just 3 1/2 years with a degree in history and a minor in education. He carries nearly a 3.2 GPA heading into his final semester and turned down an opportunity to play in the NFL to complete his degree as a promise to his family. With his graduation in December, all nine children will have college degrees. He is an Academic All-Big Ten pick in 2013, a four-time UNL Scholar-Athlete Honor Roll selection and a two-time UNL Honors Academic Medallion recipient. In July of 2014, he was chosen by the Big Ten to be the players’ representative at the Kickoff Luncheon, where his speech “The Essence of the Student-Athlete,” was well received in front of 1,700 people.

Character

Abdullah’s leadership on the field is most evidenced by his selection as a two-time team captain. He is only the eighth player in Nebraska’s 125-year history to be a two-time captain. He was also just the fifth Husker football player in over 40 years to be a two-time Lifter of the Year, as he serves as a mentor the other players in his position group.

Community

Abdullah has used his status as a college football player to serve as a role model in the community. He has been a featured speaker at schools and youth events, talking about the importance of mastering the fundamental academic skills, seeking support, setting goals and being a positive person. He has helped with Make-A-Wish requests and has been a member of Nebraska’s Uplifting Athletes Chapter, helping to raise awareness and money for pediatric brain cancer research.  For two years, he aslo served as a mentor to a 4-year old boy named DJ Myles, who was dealing with brain cancer. He met with DJ and his family multiple times, hosted his family at the stadium, regular texting and updates all to provide hope and encouragement. Even after DJ’s death, Abdullah has remained in contact with the family and provided support. He has also visited patients at hospitals, providing cheer and encouragement.

Competition

Abdullah is one of the top players in college football entering the 2014 season. He earned All-America honors in 2013 and was one of 10 semifinalists for the Doak Walker Award, presented to the nation’s top running back. He rushed for a Big Ten high 1,690 yards in 2013, and went over 100 yards in 11 of 13 games. His yardage total was the most by a Husker since 1997, and he tied NU’s school mark for 100-yard games in a season. He is a two-time All-Big Ten running back, and also has returned kicks during his career. Abdullah enters his senior campaign with 2,977 career rushing yards, leaving him just 23 yards from becoming the eighth Husker to rush for 3,000 yards. His career rushing total is the third-most among active FBS players entering the 2014 season. If he reaches 1,000 yards rushing this year, he will be the first player in school history to have three 1,000-yard rushing seasons.