The Heisman Chances of a Nebraska Running Back
It has been nearly thirty years since a Nebraska running back has won the Heisman Trophy. The All American Mike Rozier decimated Nebraska and Big Eight records at the time, and cracked a couple of NCAA records. Since that point, there have been 28 other Heisman Trophies awarded, but only eight have even gone to running backs.
So what are some of the metrics it would take for Rex Burkhead to be so exceptional, the voters could not ignore him? The first item is only partially in control of the quiet running back. The Huskers must absolutely be a top 5 team. It is the only way to get the media attention necessary and the higher ranked teams are more likely to have players be recognized as great.
Assuming that Nebraska can muster a top finish, Burkhead would then have to lead the nation in some quantifiable statistic (heart, consistency, want-to, or willpower don't count). The best chance for Burkhead would probably be to crack open the yards per carry or yards per game. Get at least 7 per touch or near 150 per game and it gives people something to talk about. Unfortunately, this offense looks like it will be prolific enough that Burkhead will not be able to touch the necessary amount of touchdowns, probably close to 30.
There has been much talk of media campaigns and promotions that the athletic department should undertake for the top players in the program. Those pushes for a player seem to fizzle out after a few weeks. The best players are going to consistently be great from the beginning of the season and not slow down with league play. It is the only way for Burkhead to continue being nationally recognized.