Rex Burkhead, RB

School: Nebraska  |  Conference: BIG10
College Experience: Senior  |  Hometown: Plano, TX
Height/Weight: 5-10 / 214 lbs.
Projected Ranking
OverallPositionProj. Rnd.
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03/16/2013 - 2013 Nebraska Pro Day: Representatives from 12 NFL teams were on hand for Nebraska's pro day on Thursday, which took place indoors and on field turf. Pittsburgh Steelers defensive backs coach Carnell Lake and Cincinnati Bengals linebacker coach Paul Guenther were among the coaches on hand.

Rex Burkhead, RB (5-10 1/8, 210 pounds) - The Nebraska rusher posted times of 4.66 and 4.68 seconds in the 40-yard dash. He put together a strong workout and showed scouts that he has an exceptionally good pair of hands. Burkhead wasn't invited to the NFL Scouting Combine, but his performance showed he has promise to play at the next level. - Gil Brandt, NFL.com

03/08/2013 - 2013 Nebraska Pro Day: In front of a handful of NFL scouts, Nebraska seniors omitted from the NFL scouting combine got a little more clarification on where they stand in the upcoming NFL Draft in April. The extra info doesn't mean much though, according to Will Compton. "There's so much wild stuff that happens," he said. "(NFL Draft analyst Mike) Mayock and them are right up until about pick six, after that, everybody's shocked."

Thursday's pro day gave Nebraska's graduated seniors and two former Huskers a chance to show off in front of scouts and assistant coaches from eight NFL teams. Compton said scouts informed him he helped himself quite a bit, after 24 bench press reps of 225 pounds and a 40-yard dash time below 4.6 seconds. "I was kind of nervous about that," Compton said. "As long as I beat what everybody else out there thought. When I hit (4.54) today I was ecstatic." Multiple scouts including the Green Bay Packers and Oakland Raiders spent time talking to Burkhead, who impressed in running back drills as well as pass-catching exercises. - Grant Muessel, The Daily Nebraskan

03/08/2013 - 2013 Nebraska Pro Day: Former NU I-back Rex Burkhead used Pro Day to take care of his biggest regret from the NFL Combine. Burkhead focused only on the 40-yard dash in recent weeks and took part only in that drill and some position work Thursday. It paid off as he went from a disappointing 4.73 in Indianapolis to times in the 4.5s. "I wanted to go into the low 4.5s," he said. "I ended up getting in there with some times down there, so I definitely did what I needed to do." Burkhead still found a way to be the last one out of the Hawks Center, staying later to catch some punts and kicks and work as a slot receiver for those watching. "Just trying to show my versatility and everything I could do," he said. - Sam McKewon and Rich Kaipust, World-Herald News

02/27/2013 - Walk into the Hawks Championship Center Wednesday morning and you'd find a bunch of Huskers from last year's senior class - including Rex Burkhead, just returned from his NFL combine experience. He was out there working out with guys like Eric Martin, Cameron Meredith, Ben Cotton and Kyler Reed. None of those players received an NFL combine invite. But they've been working out every day in Lincoln in preparation for Nebraska's March 7 test date for pro prospects. I'll have a story on them coming. But I was also interested in hearing from Burkhead about his trip to Indianapolis. Burkhead fared very well in most of his tests at the combine, placing in the Top 5 at his position in five of seven categories. But one area Burkhead wants to improve on is his 40 time. He posted an official time of 4.73 at the combine.

So Burkhead is planning on re-running the 40 for NFL evaluators next Thursday and doing some position work. He'll let his other numbers from the combine stand. "I think overall I did pretty well," Burkhead said. "Definitely would have liked to have ran faster. I think I could have posted a better time. But I got another chance at the Pro Day, so hopefully I do it then." Burkhead said he's aiming for low 4.5s with his 40. It was tough to find faults with any of Burkhead's other numbers. He was second among running back in three of the seven drills. "I think some of the teams wanted to see how athletic I was," he said. "I think I definitely showed that in some of those other tests." - Brian Christopherson, The Lincoln Journal Star

01/01/2013 - Scouting the Nebraska running game: Senior RB Rex Burkhead returned for the Huskers' last two games after missing four straight games, and six overall, because of a sprained MCL. In his absence, sophomore Ameer Abdullah rushed for a team-best 1,089 yards on 219 carries. QB Taylor Martinez is a dangerous threat out of the zone read, or when scrambling to avoid pressure. He's scored on runs of 92 and 76 yards. - The Sports Xchange

11/23/2012 - Rex Burkhead scored the go-ahead touchdown in his return from a knee injury and No. 17 Nebraska beat Iowa 13-7 on Friday to secure a spot in the Big Ten title game. The Huskers (10-2, 7-1 Big Ten) will face off against Wisconsin next Saturday in Indianapolis. It'll be a rematch of Nebraska's thrilling 30-27 home win over the Badgers in late September. Burkhead, making his first appearance since aggravating a sprained left knee on Oct. 20 against Northwestern, broke through with a 3-yard TD run to make it 13-7 late in the third quarter. Alonzo Whaley's interception with 2:11 left sealed the victory for Nebraska.

The Huskers defense held the Hawkeyes (4-8, 2-6) scoreless in the final three quarters in windy conditions. Mark Weisman had 91 yards rushing for Iowa, which finished the season on a six-game losing streak. The Hawkeyes will miss out on a bowl game for just the second time since 2000. Nebraska's offense spent much of the day stifled by a stiff wind that gisted up to 40 mph and a surprisingly stout Iowa defense. Fittingly, quarterback Taylor Martinez and Burkhead teamed up to put the Huskers ahead. - AP Sports

11/23/2012 - No. 14 Nebraska relied on its defense and an emotional spark from the return of senior running back Rex Burkhead to outlast Iowa 13-7 on Friday to win the Legends Division of the Big Ten Conference. Nebraska (10-2, 7-1 Big Ten) will play Wisconsin in the Big Ten Championship on Dec. 1 in Indianapolis, with the winner receiving the conference's automatic berth to the Rose Bowl. On a cold and windy day at Kinnick Stadium, Nebraska's only touchdown came from Burkhead, who'd missed the Huskers' last four games while recovering from a sprained MCL.

Burkhead didn't play in the first half but scored on 3-yard run to give Nebraska a 13-7 lead with 3:10 remaining in the third quarter. Iowa (4-8, 2-6) gained only two first downs on its final four possessions, and Nebraska linebacker Alonzo Whaley intercepted James Vandenberg at the Iowa 35-yard line with 2:11 remaining. Burkhead, who finished with 69 yards on 16 carries, then ran four times as Nebraska ran out the clock for their sixth straight victory. - The Sports Xchange

11/13/2012 - Rex Burkhead would love to say he'll play Saturday when Nebraska meets Minnesota on senior day. He can't, though, because he just doesn't know. It's been this way for weeks. The 2011 All-Big Ten running back sprained his left knee in the opener of his final season at Nebraska and has aggravated the injury twice. He's missed five games and had to leave early in three others. One day, the knee will feel good, and he'll think he can play that week. The next day, the knee hurts and he knows he won't. ''I think it kills him every week,'' coach Bo Pelini said. ''That's just who he is.'' Burkhead was on the practice field Monday and participated on a limited basis. He said he's ''pretty close'' to being able to play in a game, and he's doing all he can to make it happen against the Gophers. ''My last home game here,'' he said. ''Being a senior, it would mean the world to get out on the field.'' The native of Plano, Texas, is the most popular player on the team judging by the overwhelming number of fans dressed in No. 22 jerseys on game days. Last season, he averaged 104 yards a game and his 284 carries were two shy of the school record. His 1,357 yards were the most by a Nebraska running back since 1997. - AP Sports

10/23/2012 - Nebraska coach Bo Pelini said he was inclined to rest running back Rex Burkhead at least a week after he aggravated a knee injury against Northwestern on Saturday, though no firm decision has been made for this week's game against 20th-ranked Michigan. Burkhead left during Nebraska's second offensive series against Northwestern. He suffered a strained ligament in his left knee in the season opener against Southern Mississippi and missed the next two games. He first aggravated the injury in the third quarter against Ohio State on Oct. 6. - AP Sports

09/22/2012 - Unlike some Football Championship Subdivision teams this season, Idaho State played its role as sacrificial lamb. No. 25 Nebraska overpowered the Bengals from the beginning, romping to a 73-7 victory Saturday afternoon before 84,923 fans at Memorial Stadium. Idaho State is part of the Big Sky Conference, which has already collected four victories over Football Bowl Subdivision teams this season. But the Bengals, 5-40 over the previous four seasons, were no match for Nebraska. Running back Rex Burkhead ran nine times for 118 yards and two touchdowns in his first game since Sept. 1, and Nebraska scored on offense, defense and special teams in a game for the first time since 2009. Burkhead, who missed the Huskers' last two games with a sprained MCL, had a career-long 61-yard run on his third carry of the game, scoring Nebraska's first touchdown en route to a 35-0 first-quarter lead. Quarterback Taylor Martinez directed two one-play scoring drives in the first quarter, with touchdown passes of 35 yards to Quincy Enunwa and 68 yards to Kenny Bell, who took a shovel pass on an end-around and darted untouched down the sideline for a 28-0 lead. - The Sports Xchange

09/22/2012 - If Nebraska gained anything from its 73-7 victory over Idaho State, it was the assurance that running back Rex Burkhead will be ready when Big Ten play starts against Wisconsin. Burkhead, playing for the first time since he sprained his left knee in the opener, ran for 119 yards and two touchdowns Saturday as the No. 25 Cornhuskers made quick work of the Football Championship Subdivision-level Bengals. "It felt good just to get back out there in a game atmosphere, being out on the field with my teammates," Burkhead said. "It was fun, just running around, getting more comfortable with the knee. You get comfortable in practices and stuff but it's never the same as in a game when you're getting tackled." Burkhead, who wore a knee brace, said he felt 90 percent. No one would have been able to tell the All-Big Ten back was anything less than full speed when he broke a career-long 61-yard touchdown run on his third carry. Going into the game, the coaching staff planned to get Burkhead 10-15 touches. He ended up with eight carries, and he caught one pass for 25 yards. "He blocked and he caught the ball and he ran and he ran recklessly," running backs coach Ron Brown said. "He didn't look tentative at all. It was a good start for him. It would have been nice for him to get a few more carries. The way the game was going, and all the yards he had, I thought that was enough." The game got out of hand early. The Cornhuskers (3-1) led 35-0 after the first quarter and 45-0 at half. Their 73 points were the most since they hung the same number on Kansas State in 2007. - AP Sports

09/11/2012 - RB Rex Burkhead traveled with the team to UCLA but didn't suit up. The senior sat out with a low-grade MCL sprain he suffered a week earlier against Southern Miss. Bo Pelini said Burkhead could "possibly" return for Nebraska's home game Saturday against Arkansas State. - The Sports Xchange

09/11/2012 - Nebraska coach Bo Pelini said running back Rex Burkhead's status for this week's game against Arkansas State remains uncertain. Burkhead missed Saturday's game at UCLA because of a left knee ligament sprain sustained in the opener against Southern Mississippi. - AP Sports

09/11/2012 - 9/11/2012 NFL DRAFT SCOUT RISER: 3. Rex Burkhead RB Nebraska...Just a minute into the game between Nebraska and Southern Miss in the season opener, Burkhead rumbled down the field for a 57-yard touchdown run, kicking off his senior season with a bang. But that carry was one of only three he would have in the game before leaving the field with a sprained knee (MCL). While not considered a long-term injury, Nebraska could have used him against UCLA on Saturday as the Huskers lost a close game to the Bruins. With Arkansas State and Idaho State next on the schedule, Burkhead might not play for the next few weeks, which will end any Heisman hopes he might have had and also possibly hurt his NFL Draft stock. Considered a borderline top-100 pick entering the season, Burkhead runs with a head of steam and has held up well over the past few years despite being the main offensive weapon for the Huskers. But a knee injury could obviously have a lingering effect on his football future. The Huskers have enough talent on the roster to fill his shoes against the Southern Misses of the world, but Nebraska will need Burkhead back in a few weeks when Wisconsin comes to Lincoln -- a match-up that NFL scouts will certainly be watching with great interest. - Dane Brugler, NFLDraftScout.com

09/08/2012 - RB Rex Burkhead is questionable for Saturday's game because of a low-grade MCL sprain he suffered against Southern Miss. Bo Pelini said Burkhead, who won't need surgery, is day-to-day, and will travel with the team to UCLA. - The Sports Xchange

09/03/2012 - Nebraska got some good news and bad news on Monday. The good news is that running back Rex Burkhead will not need surgery on the knee he injured during the Cornhusker's season-opening victory over Southern Miss on Saturday. The bad news is, surgery or no surgery, Burkhead is still questionable to play this weekend against UCLA. An MRI of Burkhead's left knee showed a mild sprain of the MCL. Nebraska coach Bo Pelini said that Ameer Abdullah, Imani Cross and Braylon Heard would fill in for Burkhead if he isn't available. "We have a lot of confidence in those backs," Pelini said. "They're talented guys. I like how they played, how they responded." In Saturday's win that trio combined to rush for 177 yards and a touchdown. Burkhead finished the day with 68 yards and a touchdown of his own on only three carries before having to leave the game. Though if Taylor Martinez continues playing like the world's greatest quarterback -- 354 yards and 5 touchdowns against Southern Miss -- then Nebraska could line up Lil' Red at running back and it probably wouldn't matter. - Tom Fornelli, CBSSports.com

09/03/2012 - Coach Bo Pelini of 17th-ranked Nebraska says injured running back Rex Burkhead is questionable for Saturday's road game against UCLA. Pelini said Monday an MRI confirmed Burkhead mildly sprained a ligament in his left knee early in the opener against Southern Mississippi. The coach said if he were to put together a travel roster now, Burkhead would be on it. Freshman running back Imani Cross said he's spoken with Burkhead and that the senior is determined to play against the Bruins (1-0). Pelini said he expects no drop-off if Burkhead can't play. Backups Ameer Abdullah, Braylon Heard and Cross combined for 177 yards and touchdown on 29 carries in the 49-20 win over Southern Miss. Abdullah also caught an 11-yard TD pass for the Huskers (1-0). - AP Sports

08/16/2012 - Nebraska running back Rex Burkhead doesn't have to touch another football to know he has made a difference. The Heisman Trophy candidate running back was named the 2012 Uplifting Athletes Rare Disease Champion at the end of last season for his work with a young Nebraska fan in need. Burkhead became best friends with 6-year-old Jack Hoffman, a kindergartener from Atkinson, Neb., who is battling a rare of pediatric brain tumor called a low grade glioma. Hoffman, a huge fan of the team, went to practice and visited the team at the Capital One Bowl. "I didn't expect Jack to be as energetic and happy and positive," Burkhead told the Dallas Morning News. "That's what really impressed me most. He was an inspiration to us." The players, led by Burkhead, embraced their young fan, wearing yellow and red plastic bracelets that said "Team Jack - Pray." "We just talk about life in general," Burkhead told the newspaper. "A Blake Griffin dunk, school, whatever. We try to stay away from his medical condition and focus on other things." But Burkhead couldn't turn away his attention. And neither could his teammates. Last month, 47 Cornhuskers rallied together to form the core of Chapter 14 as part of Uplifting Athletes to help raise awareness about the disease affecting their favorite fan. The chapter will use outreach, research, education and advocacy to increase awareness about Hoffman's condition. "Rex was always updating us on Jack's condition, and we feel like a big part of his cause," Nebraska junior fullback C.J. Zimmerer told Huskers.com. "Now that we're an official campus organization, we're eager to raise money and increase awareness of the disease he's living with every day." And Burkhead never forgets his littlest fan. - Dave Carey, CBSSports.com

08/07/2012 - Top-five Nebraska prospects for the 2013 NFL Draft: 1. RB Rex Burkhead...Burkhead is hard-nosed and tough as nails, finishing every run and popping right back after a big hit while showing the downhill patience and vision to follow his blocks. He isn't an explosive athlete with more build-up speed than natural burst, but has quick feet to sidestep defenders and make the first guy miss. Although he lacks "wow" ability to routinely create when the hole isn't there, Burkhead is a an energetic, workhorse runner who takes pride in his craft and runs hard with conviction and determination. He isn't a first round caliber prospect, but could easily sneak into the top-100 picks in the mold of a smaller version of Peyton Hillis. - Dane Brugler, NFLDraftScout.com

08/07/2012 - Top-five Nebraska prospects for the 2013 NFL Draft: 1. RB Rex Burkhead...Although rarely given the credit, Burkhead (pictured above) is the best offensive player at Nebraska, coming off a productive junior season where he finished third in the conference with 1,357 rushing yards. He came close to a school record with 284 carries last season while lining up all over the backfield, even at quarterback, and also out-wide as a receiver. Burkhead wasn't considered a big-time recruit out of high school in Plano, Texas, but received offers from Texas A&M, Michigan, Stanford and several others before deciding to enroll in Lincoln. He was stuck behind Roy Helu on the running back depth chart as a freshman and sophomore, but still saw a good amount of playing time, combining for 1,297 rushing yards as a back-up. Burkhead became the starter in 2011 (13 starts) and finished with a team-best 1,357 rushing yards and 17 total touchdowns, earning First Team All-Big Ten honors. He is a compactly-built 210 pounds with excellent balance, running close to the ground and with a head of steam. - Dane Brugler, NFLDraftScout.com

08/07/2012 - COLLEGE FOOTBALL'S TOP 10 MOST VALUABLE NON-QBS: 6. Rex Burkhead. Nebraska, RB: You certainly could make a case that Burkhead is even more valuable to his offense than some of the other RBs are on this list above him are to theirs. The guy did rush for 1,357 yards last season. Next best among Husker RBs was Ameer Abdullah's 150. Burkhead's presence makes Taylor Martinez so much more dangerous. My reason why Burkhead's not even higher is, like with Stepfan Taylor, I'm not sold his team has the potential to be a Top 10 team this season even if he has a great year. - Bruce Feldman, CBSSports.com

07/28/2012 - "A lot of people call Rex a 'throwback player,'" Pelini said. "They almost act like he's this overachiever. I think he gets a lot out of what he does. But I don't think people realize how good of an athlete this guy is. "He's a tremendous athlete. ... It's ridiculous, really. He has almost a 40-inch vertical leap. I don't think people realize how explosive this guy is." Pelini can be very opinionated. He was in that type of mood Friday. He knows and we know why Burkhead gets tagged a "throwback player" and "overachiever," but we typically bite our tongue. Pelini let loose with the truth. "Let's face it, people also say he's a white guy," the coach said. "People stereotype - that's what society does." In Pelini's opinion, Burkhead gets overlooked nationally. He said it doesn't bother him. It does surprise him, though. After all, Burkhead, in addition to his leaping ability, runs a 4.5-second 40-yard dash. "Maybe faster," Pelini said. Burkhead rushed for 1,357 yards last season, churning out seven 100-yard games. If Burkhead indeed is overlooked nationally, it may be because he seldom hits the home run. His longest run from scrimmage in college is a 52-yard burst last season against Tennessee-Chattanooga. He reeled off a 45-yard touchdown run against Wyoming. But in the final nine games, his longest run was 22 yards. - Steven M. Sipple, The Lincoln Journal Star

07/27/2012 - Q. Rex Burkhead was just named to the Big Ten players to watch list. Can you talk a little bit about what he brings to the team? COACH PELINI: Rex is a pretty special football player and a special kid. I think everybody can see what he can do as a football player. He's tough. He can do it all on the field. He's multi-talented. He has all the intangibles. But beyond that, what he does for your football team and your program is tremendous. I mean, he's, to me, the definition of what a role model is and what a student-athlete should be. And the things he does in our community, the type of leader he is, the type of example he sets on a daily basis, what he's accomplished in the classroom, I wouldn't trade him for another player in the country. That's how much I think of Rex and what he is to our program and the University of Nebraska. And you always say when you recruit kids, you say: This kid can do this for your program. He can be that. And he's lived up to everything that we envisioned when we recruited Rex. It's not real often you can say that because, believe me, when you're recruiting, you're putting high expectations on guys. Rex has lived up to each and every one of them. - Big Ten football/Media day transcripts

07/26/2012 - Nebraska's Big Ten championship chances rest on the arm and legs of quarterback Taylor Martinez, who has been a regular starter for his two seasons in Lincoln, surviving growing pains along the way. "My expectations for Taylor are high," Pelini said. "He's just now become an upperclassman. I'm excited for Taylor and excited for our football team." Running back Rex Burkhead is sure to share the burden on offense. Burkhead was third in the Big Ten with 15 rushing touchdowns last season and also recognized as one of Nebraska's top students. "I wouldn't trade him for another player in the country," Pelini said. "That's how much I think of him." - The Sports Xchange

07/20/2012 - 2012 PRESEASON WALTER CAMP PLAYER OF THE YEAR AWARD WATCH LIST: Rex Burkhead, senior, RB, Nebraska, has been named one of of fifty preseason "players to watch" for The Walter Camp Football Foundation 2012 Player of the Year Award, the nation's fourth-oldest individual college football accolade. A native of Plano, Texas, Burkhead was also one of 52 national candidates for the Doak Walker Award, which is presented annually to the nation's top college running back. Burkhead was one of 10 semifinalists for the award last season, one of four returning semifinalists from the 2011 season. Semifinalists for the award will be announced on Nov. 9, with finalists being announced on Nov. 19. The 2012 Doak Walker Award winner will be announced live on The Home Depot College Football Awards Show on Thursday, Dec. 6 on ESPN. Burkhead is coming off a 2011 season in which he ran for 1,357 yards, the seventh-highest total in school history and the most yards by a Husker I-back since Ahman Green in 1997. - Nebraska football

07/20/2012 - 2012 DOAK WALKER AWARD PRESEASON WATCH LIST: Rex Burkhead (Sr.), Nebraska, has been selected to the Preseason Doak Walker Award Watch List for the 2012 college football season, presented annually to the nation's premier running back for his accomplishments on the field, achievement in the classroom and citizenship in the community. Burkhead is coming off a 2011 season in which he ran for 1,357 yards, the seventh-highest total in school history and the most yards by a Husker I-back since Ahman Green in 1997. Burkhead, who was also named to the preseason watch list for the Maxwell Award earlier this summer, scored 17 total touchdowns last season, tying a Nebraska record by scoring a touchdown in each of the season's first 10 games. Burkhead's 104.4 rushing yards per game ranked 19th nationally, and he served as a workhorse, carrying the ball 284 times, the second-highest total in school history. Burkhead posted a school-record 38 carries against Iowa last season. Burkhead was also a first-team CoSIDA Academic All-American last fall and an honorable-mention All-American according to Sports Illustrated. Burkhead was also honored with a Nebraska Student-Athlete HERO Leadership Award this spring, along with a third straight appointment to the Brook Berringer Citizenship team. He also earned national recognition as an Uplifting Athletes Rare Disease Champion. - Nebraska football

07/09/2012 - 2012 MAXWELL AWARD PRESEASON WATCHLIST: Rex Burkhead, Nebraska, RB, Sr., has been selected to the preseason Maxwell Award watchlist for the 2012 college football season, given to America's outstanding collegiate football player since 1937 and named in honor of sportswriter Robert W. "Tiny" Maxwell. Burkhead is one of 65 players on the preseason watch list for the Maxwell Award, which has been presented to the nation's outstanding football player since 1937. Burkhead earned All-Big Ten honors, rushing for 1,357 yards and accounting for 17 touchdowns in 2011. He totaled seven 100-yard rushing efforts as a junior while ranking third in the Big Ten with 104.4 rushing yards per game. Burkhead, a 5-foot-11, 210-pound senior from Plano Texas, had a Nebraska record 38 rushing attempts for 160 yards in the regular season finale victory over Iowa. He also racked up 35 carries in a win over Michigan State and had a career-high 170 rushing yards at Wyoming. Burkhead's 284 carries in 2011 were just two shy of the season record of 286 by Lawrence Phillips in 1994. Burkhead also showed his receiving ability with 21 receptions for 177 yards and two touchdowns. A three-year performer for the Huskers, he enters his senior year ranked 12th on Nebraska's career rushing chart with 2,654 yards and could make a strong push to finish in the top five with a strong 2012 campaign. - Nebraska football


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