Nebraska running back Ameer Abdullah announced today that he will be returning for his senior season. Abdullah finished 2013 with 1,690 yards and nine touchdowns, setting a single season school record by rushing for 100 yards in 11 games. His 2013 rushing total was fourth best in school history.
Abdullah ranked seventh nationally in yards per game at 130, and second in the Big Ten to Ohio State's Carlos Hyde. His 1,690 yards was best in the conference, ninth nationally.
Full Statement from UNL Athletic Department by Abdullah and Head Coach Bo Pelini:
Statement from Nebraska Junior I-Back Ameer Abdullah:
I would like to start off by thanking everyone for their patience as I reached this decision. I cannot begin to tell you how truly thankful I am for the Husker coaching staff, my teammates, and the Nebraska fans. My time here at Nebraska has been memorable and more than I could have ever hoped. It is truly an honor to play for this program.
As you know, since the midway point the season I have been asked, repeatedly, whether I would return for my senior season. In reaching my decision I have had to consider a number of factors such as my family's economic condition, my projected draft position, and my long term success, not just in football, but in life in general. In order to fully understand my decision one must know who I am and where I come from.
I come from a very modest upbringing. As the youngest of my parents' nine children, I have had to fight for just about everything I have gotten. Despite these apparent obstacles, my parents were able to instill in their children the importance of family, education, and taking advantage of life's many opportunities.
In holding true to these values, all of my siblings have completed their college education with many of them even going on to obtain advanced degrees. Despite my family's tradition of completing its college education, I find myself in a very unique situation of having to decide between pursing my dream of playing in the National Football League and breaking from my family's tradition of completing our education.
While it may be true that none of my siblings were presented with the possibility of playing professional sports, it is equally true that the average NFL career, because of the violent nature of the sport, is less than five years. In analyzing these truths, I have come to realize that life is bigger than football, and that my chances of long-term success in life will be greatly enhanced by completing my college education. Although I have always wanted to play in the NFL, at this time I would like to formally announce my intentions of returning to Nebraska for my senior season.
If playing in the NFL is truly in God's plans for me, then God will again present this opportunity to me after I complete my college education.
Statement from Head Coach Bo Pelini:
I know Ameer was very thoughtful about his decision and, as you would expect with Ameer, he has handled this the right way. As I have told Ameer and other players who have had to make this same choice, I fully support whatever decision they make, and am willing to help in any way I possibly can.
Ameer comes from a great family, has great character and is a great leader in our program. He stands for all the right things as a student-athlete, and I know it is important for him to leave the University of Nebraska with a degree.
We look forward to having Ameer represent the Nebraska football program for another season. Ameer has the opportunity to leave a legacy at Nebraska that will put him among the all-time greats to play here. He is a young man that is deserving of being a leading candidate for the Heisman Trophy and other national awards in 2014.