January 20, 2011

Huskers add big target with commit No. 17

Before today, the exact date for Homewood, Ala., athlete Ameer Abdullah to make his decision wasn't known despite him saying he was close.

On Thursday, the perfect opportunity appeared to arise. Abdullah, who was considering possible visits to USC this weekend and Auburn later this month, had not been shy about naming Nebraska - a recent school to enter the mix over the last few weeks - his favorite.

Huskers' running backs coach Tim Beck spoke with Abdullah on the phone on Thursday and received big news.

"He went on at first, because you know coach Beck is one of those guys that always initiates the conversation," Abdullah said about his commitment. "He was talking about how he's at some event later tonight, he's in Ohio and he's slipping all over the roads - he's a real funny guy.

"So I told him me and my parents had talked and he was real excited."

There were several reasons Abdullah chose the Huskers in the end.

"Honestly, the moment I talked to coach Beck, the first time I talked to him, he just came off different that the other coaches," Abdullah explained. "The first thing they say is 'oh how's recruiting, who's doing this and who's doing that?' The first thing he said was, 'tell me a little bit about yourself.' He didn't come at me all business, he came at getting to know me. You know it's like Nebraska likes better people more than better players. I told him all about family and everything.

"That really set them apart for me and really on my visit they treated me right. They laid out the red carpet for me. They showed me all the respect I need and I showed them all the respect in return. I really like them for those two reasons."

Despite the possibility just this week of him taking as many as two more official visits, Abdullah says this decision to be a Husker is final.

"I'm done, once I pledge myself, I'm loyal to the team and I don't want to go anywhere else," he said. "This is where I want to be."

With he and Aaron Green the only sure bets at running back to join the Huskers this fall in the last two recruiting classes, Abdullah said this decision wasn't about just being at a place to see the field as a freshman.

"I feel like playing time is what you have to earn," he said. "That's not something that I was looking at because oh, I know you can get playing time. This guy hasn't proved anything, if he didn't step on the campus and prove himself. I'm more of a guy that can show I can pay early. What I want to do is really show I'm going to work hard in the off-season and in the summer, and work hard in training camp. Playing early is a big deal for anybody but its not the most important thing."

There is no question that this moment is not only big for Abdullah but for his family this evening.

"Everybody is excited about it, I'm excited about the position to come in and maybe contribute early," Abdullah said. "[Beck] was real happy, coach Pelini was real happy and I'm more than happy to call myself a Husker."

Abdullah brings the Husker commit total to 17 for the class of 2011.

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