Nebraska Football: Why Ameer Abdullah Was Right to Forgo NFL Draft

Erin Sorensen@erinsorensenContributor IJanuary 9, 2014

LINCOLN, NE - NOVEMBER 2: Running back Ameer Abdullah #8 of the Nebraska Cornhuskers runs during their game against the Northwestern Wildcats at Memorial Stadium on November 2, 2013 in Lincoln, Nebraska. (Photo by Eric Francis/Getty Images)
Eric Francis/Getty Images

In a statement released by the team's official website, Nebraska I-back Ameer Abdullah announced on Thursday that he will return for his senior season.

After a quiet couple of weeks, the news did come as a shock to many. Some people believed that the lack of news from Abdullah was a bad sign for the Huskers. The I-back proved that notion to be wrong.

In his official statement, Abdullah made it clear that his education is more important than playing in the NFL. While the goal will still be there after next season, Abdullah has set his sights on his college degree.

Did the I-back make the right decision? All signs point to yes.

As long as Abdullah can stay healthy, the 2014 season will offer him a slew of opportunities. In 2013, Abdullah missed hitting the 100-yard mark in only two games. He can change that next season.

Additionally, Abdullah will likely get some buzz for many national awards in 2014. He earned first-team All-Big Ten honors and third-team AP All-American honors in 2013. He also was one of 10 semifinalists for the Doak Walker Award, given to the nation's top running back.

With top honors already under his belt, Abdullah will be in a good position to be recognized even more on a national scale in 2014.

All in all, the decision was a good one for Abdullah. While Husker fans would have supported him either way, it's hard not to be pleased with the choice he made.

There will be some concern around his health. Former Nebraska I-back Rex Burkhead faced injuries during his senior season with the Huskers. However, Burkhead was still drafted in the sixth round by the Cincinnati Bengals.

Another concern is Abdullah's draft stock.'s Mike Griffith reported that ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr. projected the I-back as a third- or fourth-round pick. Any injuries could drop him to a lower pick in 2015, but another strong season like 2013 could improve it.

Regardless, Abdullah is not worried about the NFL at this time.

"If playing in the NFL is truly in God’s plans for me, then God will again present this opportunity to me after I complete my college education," he said in his official statement.

If that's what matters most to Abdullah, then he made the right decision. The NFL will always be there next year.

For the time being, the Huskers get to keep their star.