Eric Francis/Getty Images
Quite honestly, this could have been Ameer Abdullah or Aaron Green in this spot. Bo Pelini decided to burn red-shirt years for all three freshman running backs, even though their ability to see the field and contribute was limited in 2011. But Braylon Heard gets the nod in terms of players to watch because of the illness that sidelined him for a good portion of 2011.
Heard should be on the roster for the Capital One Bowl, and with an extra month to prepare, Nebraska fans are hopeful that offensive coordinator Tim Beck has come up with some new ways to get his electric freshman running backs involved in the game. Hopefully Heard has earned his place to get a shot against South Carolina.
Like what you read? Follow me on Twitter @patrickrunge to track my thoughts and observations about college football—and one or two other topics—throughout the year!
And if you would like to contact me directly to schedule an interview, ask a question or to get my recipe for a killer peach cobbler, you can send an e-mail to email@example.com. (DISCLAIMER: Peach cobbler recipe might not be all that killer.)