(Rick Osentoski-US PRESSWIRE)

Burkhead sits, makes room for young RBs

Fans won’t be seeing much of Rex Burkhead on Saturday.

Although Burkhead was the driving force behind Nebraska’s 15th ranked rushing attack last season, he’ll be claiming  a spot on the bench for most of Saturday’s Red-White Scrimmage. Coaches want to give young running backs Ameer Abdullah and Aaron Green more reps.

Burkhead said he would like to get a series or two on the field Saturday, but he understands where the coaches are coming from. In most of this spring’s practices, Burkhead has been a full participant in position drills, but has sat out full-team scrimmages to make way for the young backs.

He said the tandem has already shown great improvement in the film room and is picking up the speed of the game in Nebraska’s offense.

Coach Bo Pelini said the team isn’t resting Burkhead because of injury. However, his high carry totals last season were a cause for concern, and Pelini said the opportunity to progress Green and Abdullah has allowed Burkhead to get some much needed rest.

The Huskers could use an emerging second running back. Aside from Burkhead and quarterback Taylor Martinez, who totaled 472 carries, only one other Husker player had more than 25 carries, as Abdullah rushed 42 times. Experience for both backs could go a long way in determining how dynamic the Husker offense will be in 2012.

By Chris Peters

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