Husker senior I-back Ameer Abdullah and junior defensive end Randy Gregory continued an impressive collection of preseason accolades on Friday, as both were named to watch list for the Walter Camp Player of the Year.
The Walter Camp Player of the Year is the fourth-oldest individual college football award. A total of 50 players were named to the Walter Camp list with Nebraska being one of nine schools with two or more players on the list. Abdullah was one of seven running backs on the list, while Gregory was one of only 17 defenders to make the watch list, including just five defensive linemen.
The 5-9, 195-pound Abdullah has previously been named to watch lists for the Maxwell Award, Doak Walker Award and Paul Hornung Award. He has also been recognized as a preseason All-American by several media outlets and is considered a leading contender for the Heisman Trophy.
Abdullah earned first-team All-Big Ten honors when he rushed for 1,690 yards in 2013, the most of any player returning for 2014. Abdullah owns 2,977 career rushing yards to rank third among active returning players in career rushing yards, and he leads all active players with 4,914 career all-purpose yards.
Gregory has now been named to five watch lists in the past two weeks. In addition to being named to the Walter Camp list, he was also on the watch lists for the Lombardi Award, Chuck Bednarik Award, Bronko Nagurski Trophy and Lott Trophy.
As a sophomore, Gregory became one of the Big Ten’s top defenders last season and has earned preseason All-America accolades in 2014. In his first year with the Huskers, Gregory led the Big Ten with 10.5 sacks and 19 tackles for loss. Nine of Gregory’s sacks came in Big Ten Conference play, including a season-high three sacks at Michigan.
Abdullah and Gregory are two of eight Big Ten players on the Walter Camp list. Ten semifinalists for the award will be announced in mid-November, with the winner announced on Thursday, Dec. 11.
Three Huskers have won the Walter Camp Player of the Year Award, most recently Eric Crouch in 2001.
Abdullah and teammates Kenny Bell and Corey Cooper will represent Nebraska at Big Ten Media Days later this month in Chicago. Abdullah will also be a featured speaker at the Big Ten Kickoff Luncheon, speaking on behalf of the 42 student-athletes in attendance.