Rex Burkhead stormed onto the scene quickly during his freshman season at Nebraska. After a highly successful high school career in Plano, Texas, he arrived in Lincoln with much excitement.
I recently sat down with Rex and talked to him about spring ball and the upcoming 2010 season.
Bleacher Report: What were your expectations coming into Lincoln as a freshman last year?
Rex Burkhead: "I really didn't know what to expect. I didn't know if I was going to redshirt, or if I was going to vie for some playing time or what. Coming in, I was just trying to contribute to the team in any way possible. Whether it was special teams or getting on the field at running back every now and then."
B/R: What intrigued you the most about the Nebraska program over the other schools recruiting you?
Rex Burkhead: "Just the overall fan support, and the coaching staff as well. All of them were really cool and they seemed like they'd be fun to play for."
B/R: How big of a transition was it for you coming from Plano, Texas to the Big 12?
Rex Burkhead: "It's definitely a bigger transition. Higher level of the game, the game's faster. It's more technically sound. A lot more things to learn, as far as the offense goes. So it was definitely a big transition."
B/R: What do you look to improve on from your freshman year to your sophomore year?
Rex Burkhead: "The biggest thing is the little things, like pass protection and running routes more crisp. Those are probably the biggest things."
B/R: Does the foot you injured last fall still give you any problems?
Rex Burkhead: "It's not actually. It's doing well, I haven't felt it at all so far this offseason."
B/R: What's the most interesting nickname you've ever been called?
Rex Burkhead: "I guess the Superman one, they started it back home with the newspapers or whatever. Actually I'm more of a Batman fan."
B/R: How does the added weight feel this spring?
Rex Burkhead: "It feels good. I'm starting to get used to it, running around. That was my main goal this spring was to get used to the new weight. I've never been this heavy before, it's doing well so far."
B/R: How's the competition amongst the running backs this spring?
Rex Burkhead: "It's good, everyone's fighting for that job. Whether it's first, second, or third position. It's high everyday."
B/R: What are your impressions of new JUCO offensive tackle Jermarcus Hardrick?
Rex Burkhead: "Big Yoshi, he's a monster. Even when we weren't in pads he was pancaking people, and now he's pancaking people still. He actually broke his hand yesterday, but he's still going to be playing. He's just a monster."
B/R: What do you expect your role to be in 2010?
Rex Burkhead: "Contribute even more, I guess. Whether it's in the Wildcat formation or just running regular plays."
B/R: The offense really exploded in the Pacific Life Holiday Bowl against Arizona. Can we expect a similar output in 2010?
Rex Burkhead: "Oh yeah, definitely. We felt that carried some momentum into the offseason, and hopefully it does into the season as well."
B/R: After showing off your ability to run the Wildcat in the Holiday Bowl, can we expect to see you throw a few passes out of it in 2010?
Rex Burkhead: "Yeah, I'm hoping so. During high school we had the Wildcat and threw some passes out of it. I'm thinking during fall camp we'll put in some pass plays, but right now we're just working on basic plays."
B/R: Who's impressed you the most on the defensive side of the ball this spring?
Rex Burkhead: "Man, there's so many guys out there. I'd have to go with the safeties. Lance Thorell and PJ Smith, they've been real impressive. They've had a lot of pass breakups, so I'd go with them."
B/R: Any quarterback that's caught your eye the most during spring ball?
Rex Burkhead: "Cody's doing well, Zac's coming back off the injury, but Taylor Martinez he's really come a long way. He's really improved running the ball and passing as well."
B/R: Lastly, what are your expectations for the 2010 Huskers?
Rex Burkhead: "I think we have a good chance to really turn some heads, we have a lot of guys coming back on defense and offense. As long as we keep working hard, getting the job done every day, we should be fine.
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