Photo by Scott Bruhn/Nebraska Communications

Rex Burkhead Quotes

By NU Athletic Communications
Nebraska Football
Weekly Press Conference
Memorial Stadium (Lincoln, Neb.)
Monday, Nov. 12, 2012

Rex Burkhead
Sr., I-back, Plano, Texas

On his status for Saturday

“Right now I’m just going to get on the field a little bit and run a little more. Still trying to test it out and see how the strength is and hopefully I’m good to go by Saturday.”

On how bad he wants to play on Senior Day
“Real bad. It’s my last home game here being a senior. It’d mean the world to be able to get out there on the field, but at the same time I have to be smart. I have a bunch of family coming up and it’d be nice to get out there and play in front of them.”

On what he has to do this week to be able to play on Saturday
“Stay with the process that the trainers have for me and trust that they are going to get me right. Make sure I’m as healthy as possible and as strong as possible going into the game.”

On what percentage he is right now
“I’m pretty close to getting there. I can’t really give you a percentage, but I’m getting close.”

On whether he’d like to play the senior game or the Big Ten Championship
“Big Ten Championship. That’s the game that I really want to be good to go for. If I’m available Saturday, then I’d love to play, but as far as winning a championship, that’s definitely more important.”

On what the last few weeks have been like for him watching the close games and not being able to help
“It’s different and gives me a new perspective. It definitely makes you appreciate the game, no question about it. You always have love and passion for the game, but when you’re not out there getting a taste of it then it definitely makes you have a new outlook. When you get back out there, you just want to hit it full stride.”

On what it’s like being a senior and having the injury
“It’s been up and down. At the same time, you can’t get down in the dumps. I still have some games left this year and if I’m down and negative then nothing good will come out of it. So I’m staying as positive as I can throughout the whole thing.”

On if he asks himself why it had to happen for his senior year
“Yes, but God has a plan for me. He’s got something in store for me that I think has made me stronger. It’s kind of a blessing in disguise, so just learn from it and take in whatever I can from it. Hopefully when I get another time of adversity in my life just learn from it and be able to move forward.”

On if it has been him or the medical staff that has said he’s not ready to go
“It’s a little bit of both. I give feedback and they can see when I’m working out or doing rehab drills and they know if I’m good or not. Having past injuries and tweaks with the knee, they’ll know when I’ll be ready.”

On what happened to the knee in the Northwestern game
“It was an inside handoff. I was going down and a backside guy grabbed my leg and twisted as I was going down. Right away I knew it happened again. Same injury.”

On if he’s on the timetable he thought it’d be
“I’m not for sure. After you do it the third time you have to get more rest and get a little bit stronger. That’s just looking at it day to day. It could be good one day and bad the next. I’m just relying on the training staff to make sure that I’m healthy.”

On if he has any regrets coming back so early the first time
“I felt good going into the game, but it’s tough to tell until you get into the game and get hit. During the week you’re not getting hit and not getting tackled, so once you’re on the field it’s a whole different game.”

On how hard it will be to trust his knee since it has gone out three times
“That’s the thing; you have to get comfortable with it and be confident in it. Throughout the week it takes continuous practice making cuts on it and maybe even getting hit here and there. You don’t want to go out there and be hesitant because that’s when you get hurt.”

On if it was up to him would he play this Saturday
“Yes. I try to play every week, but at the same time I have to be smart. I can’t rush it. If I keep doing it over and over again then it’s not going to be good in the long term. I want to be healthy for important games like the Big Ten Championship game and hopefully the Rose Bowl as well.”

On what it’s like that the team has stayed in the big picture of the conference championship
“It’s huge. We’ve played tremendously lately and watching all the guys out there and trying to be a coach on the sideline as much as I can is awesome. To still have something in front of us that we’ve wanted to accomplish is huge. Hopefully I can get back out there and help the team win.”

On how Ameer (Abdullah) has improved in his absence
“I think his ability to run not only outside but inside as well. He’s done a tremendous job all around, not just running the ball, but pass blocking, catching passes out of the backfield, and everything. The ability he has shown has been very impressive.”

On what his greatest memory at Memorial Stadium will be
“There’s been so many. We’ve had some great games here just like last week. The Ohio State game last year was pretty awesome coming back from behind, but there’s been so many. This place has been great to me. The coaching staff, the academic staff, and everybody. It’s been an awesome ride and I’m looking forward to finishing the year.”

On the senior class
“It’s an unbelievable class. A lot of growth and character and leadership are the biggest things that we’ve seen from this year and these past years. At times of adversity this year you’ve seen how we’ve reacted and bounced back numerous times almost giving Coach Bo (Pelini) numerous heart attacks. It shows what this senor class is about.”

On if he’ll need a knee scope or anything after this year ends
“Nothing right now.”

On if he’ll be practicing today
“Yes. I’ll be getting limited action and hopefully it goes well.”

On how he’s seen Bo (Pelini) grown
“I love playing for Coach Bo. He’s a great guy. He’s learned to take the feedback from his players and be able to adjust his ways of coaching and how he goes about things in the off season, throughout the summer, during the season and learn from it. The best thing he does is learn from what hasn’t been working well and what we can do to improve upon that. I think he’s done a tremendous job this year to learn from the past and things that didn’t go so well and put them into action.”

On if this is an injury that will heal fully with rest
“Yes. It’s something that over time will heal, but right now it’s tough because we’re in the middle of the season and I don’t really have that time.”

On if he’s concerned about the next level and being ready for that
“You have to bring that into play, but at the same time I want to be out there helping my teammates out. That’s about getting it ready as fast as possible and as quick as I can to get back out there.”

On what it’d mean to him and the senior class to be the class that brought Nebraska a conference title since 1999
“It’d be huge. That was one of the goals I had coming in here and I know our class did as well. So bringing Nebraska that championship again and putting us back on the map would be huge.”


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