The initial look at Rex Burkhead reminds of a recent running back for the Bengals, Brian Leonard. One outstanding thing they have in common is the ability to find the first down marker. Many Bengal fans are concerned we will miss the production from Leonard on third down and remember fondly some of the huge conversions he made in helping this team win. Burkhead is the same type of player that made many of the same type of plays in his time at Nebraska.
"Simply put, certain guys were put on Earth to be a running back. They have a feel, a knack for the position. Davis and Rozier had it, as did several other Husker greats. No question, Rex has it." – Steve Sipple
On the field you expect a hard running Nebraska running back. As a top-5 rusher that averaged 6.8 yds a carry his senior season, Burkead was a standout. In his final game against Georgia, Burkhead had 140 yds rushing along with 4 catches and 2 touchdowns. The Bengals look to have a good combination with BenJarvus Green-Ellis and Giovani Bernard as a one two punch. It is on third down that Burkhead has the opportunity to help this team.
It is Burkheads off the field accomplishments that make you want to root for this kid. An Academic All American with a 3.45 GPA, Burkhead used his recognition to help others. None more than Jack Hoffman. Hoffman is a 7 year old pediatric brain cancer patient who was allowed to score a touchdown in Nebraska's spring game. Burkhead was Hoffmans favorite player and was instrumental in including Hoffman in the game. Hoffman was invited to meet the President of the United States and of course Burkhead traveled with him.
Some of the other accomplishments of Burkead were:
- Capital One/CoSIDA first-team Academic All-America honors
- two-time first-team academic All-American
- earned his degree in history, completing his undergraduate work in just 3.5 years
- National Football Foundation National Scholar-Athlete in 2012
- Allstate AFCA Good Works Team, and he was named captain of that team
- elected a team captain for 2 seasons
We have talked a bunch about the Bengals 6th round pick here and there is plenty more about this kid that is fascinating. Below are some previous stories we posted about him.