Nebraska's Ameer Abdullah Announces Heisman Candidacy with Insane Week 1 Showing

Erin Sorensen@erinsorensenContributor IAugust 30, 2014

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Ameer Abdullah doesn't want you to forget his name.

During the Nebraska Huskers first game of the 2014 season, the senior I-back made it clear that he's a force to be reckoned with. In doing so, he subsequently announced his Heisman candidacy.

It's not that anyone was really doubting that he wouldn't be great. Instead, fans were mostly curious if his numbers would be limited with the solid depth behind him. Abdullah made it clear that's not the case.

In fact, it's quite fitting that the very first play of the year was Abdullah rushing for eight yards. He didn't stop there.

By the end of the day, Abdullah racked up 232 yards on 21 attempts. He also had one touchdown. He's on his way to not only surpassing that 1,000-yard-season benchmark but also ending closer to a total of 2,000 yards.

That would make him a Heisman candidate, wouldn't it? According to Odds Shark, Abdullah currently has a 33-1 chance of winning. The running backs listed with greater odds at winning the coveted award are currently Alabama's T.J. Yeldon (20-1), Wisconsin's Melvin Gordon (12-1) and Georgia's Todd Gurley (14-1).

It seems likely that Abdullah's odds may increase after his performance against Florida Atlantic, though. When it comes to his talent, Bo Pelini isn't shy regarding talking about what the I-back brings to the table.

"He's special. I've been saying that he's really good," Pelini said. "He can run inside; he can run outside. He's a special player. He's a really good back."

Pelini isn't the only one singing Abudllah's praises. Quarterback Tommy Armstrong was quick to say Abdullah's talent and potential reach far beyond his current rankings, both in the Big Ten and nationally:

[He wants to prove] that he is the best running back in the nation. I truly believe that. I believe they have him as the No. 1 or 2 back in the Big Ten. I just think he is taking that to heart and he is going out there and proving to everyone why he should be one of the contenders for one of the best running backs in the country.

From a perspective outside of the program, Florida Atlantic's head coach Charlie Partridge also saw just how special Abdullah is:

He is a tremendous back. He is a back that is going to break tackles against any defense in the country. Whether it is someone in the Big Ten or someone in Conference USA, it doesn’t matter.

He is one of the best backs in the country. At times he was certainly what I expected today, and that is what he has been here for several years now. He was a class player today.

After only one game, Abdullah is well on his way to gaining national attention. The senior boasted his 18th 100-yard rushing game for the Huskers. He was also only one yard shy of breaking the most yards gained in a season opener for Nebraska and is now only 120 yards shy of the top five on Nebraska's career-rushing list.

At this point, the sky is truly the limit for Abdullah. What the rest of the season holds has yet to be determined, but one thing does hold true.

Abdullah is ready to make his name known in the Heisman-candidacy race.


All quotes and player stats were obtained firsthand via the Huskers postgame press conference, unless otherwise noted.