Nebraska I-back Rex Burkhead was one of 10 players selected to the Big Ten's Players to Watch List on Thursday. The list is chosen by a media panel and features five players from the Legends Division and five players from the Leaders Division.
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 Walter Camp, Maxwell and Doak Walker Awards 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.
Burkhead, linebacker Will Compton and tight end Kyler Reed are in Chicago today and tomorrow as part of Big Ten Media Days. Nebraska Coach Bo Pelini speaks to the media at 1 p.m. and his remarks will be carried live on BTN and BTN.com. In addition, follow @Huskers on twitter for updates from the next two days in Chicago.
Big Ten Preseason Players to Watch
Rex Burkhead, RB, Nebraska
Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan
Denard Robinson, QB, Michigan
Johnny Adams, CB, Michigan State
William Gholston, DE, Michigan State
John Simon, DL, Ohio State
Braxton Miller, QB, Ohio State
Kawann Short, DT, Purdue
Montee Ball, RB, Wisconsin
Chris Borland, LB, Wisconsin