Senior I-back Rex Burkhead earned a pair of preseason honors this week, when he was named to the watch list for both the Walter Camp Player-of-the-Year award and the Doak Walker Award.
Burkhead was one of 50 players named to the watch list for the Walter Camp Award, which is presented annually to the nation's most outstanding player. The watch list will be trimmed to 10 semifinalists in mid-November and the 2012 Walter Camp Player of the Year recipient will be announced live on ESPN SportsCenter on Thursday, Dec. 6.
A native of Plano, Texas, Burkhead was also one of 52 national candidates for the Doak Walker Award, which is presented annually to the nation's top college running back. Burkhead was one of 10 semifinalists for the award last season, one of four returning semifinalists from the 2011 season. Semifinalists for the award will be announced on Nov. 9, with finalists being announced on Nov. 19. The 2012 Doak Walker Award winner will be announced live on The Home Depot College Football Awards Show on Thursday, Dec. 6 on ESPN.
Burkhead is coming off a 2011 season in which he ran for 1,357 yards, the seventh-highest total in school history and the most yards by a Husker I-back since Ahman Green in 1997. Burkhead, who was also named to the preseason watch list for the Maxwell Award earlier this summer, scored 17 total touchdowns last season, tying a Nebraska record by scoring a touchdown in each of the season's first 10 games. Burkhead's 104.4 rushing yards per game ranked 19th nationally, and he served as a workhorse, carrying the ball 284 times, the second-highest total in school history. Burkhead posted a school-record 38 carries against Iowa last season.
Burkhead was also a first-team CoSIDA Academic All-American last fall and an honorable-mention All-American according to Sports Illustrated. Burkhead was also honored with a Nebraska Student-Athlete HERO Leadership Award this spring, along with a third straight appointment to the Brook Berringer Citizenship team. He also earned national recognition as an Uplifting Athletes Rare Disease Champion.