'Superman' returns to Nebraska backfield

November, 30, 2009
11/30/09
7:33
PM ET
Nebraska freshman running back Rex Burkhead is a little sheepish when he talks about some of his success while playing last season at Plano High School in the suburbs of Dallas.

Burkhead earned the nickname of "Superman" from the local press because of his impact on the Plano football program, which traditionally is one of the strongest in the state.

During his senior season, Burkhead rushed for 1,762 yards and 28 touchdowns. He also caught 42 passes for 594 yards and five touchdowns and also excelled at returns.

But the nickname was never felt comfortable with, for obvious reasons.

"I kind of like Batman better," Burkhead said, laughing.

Burkhead's abilities were clear to Texas defensive coordinator Will Muschamp, who remembers recruiting him and especially watching him play basketball.

The 5-foot-11, 200-pounder's talents were clear to Muschamp in whatever sport he played.

"We recruited Rex, he’s very athletic and a good player," Muschamp said. "He was a very good basketball player with great lower body explosion."

Burkhead's playing time was limited earlier in the season after sustaining a hairline fracture to his right foot shortly before the Cornhuskers' Oct. 17 game against Texas Tech. But he has returned to the lineup and become a key contributor in recent games.

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