Futures at Football Outsiders: Nebraska RB Ameer Abdullah

Photo by Penn State
Photo by Penn State

Abdullah could get lost in a strong class of running backs with size and speed, but good, all-round football players are just as hard to find.

What is your favorite position to watch? I get this question a lot. Originally it was running back. It’s the most intuitive and improvisational role on a football field.

However, wide receiver and quarterback have so much to offer that it’s hard for me to stick to running back as my answer. Then there are the players at the line of scrimmage on either side of the ball. The power, agility, and quickness that they exhibit in these brief, but pivotal battles are worlds unto themselves.

And the more I study defensive backs the more I admire their daring to walk that tightrope between aggressiveness and recklessness. If you want to develop a crash course in confidence under fire, become a cornerback.

However, the truest answer that I can give in lieu of my mind-changing with whatever position I’m studying in a given week is what all the best prospects have in common: I like watching football players.

It sounds like a copout, but stay with me. There are a lot of players in college football who participate in the game, but they are more athletes than well-rounded, conceptually aware players.

Some of these athletes develop enough to earn the term used for their position. However, the best prospects often transcend their position. They understand the game, play fundamentally sound at their position, and understand enough about the skills, fundamentals, and concepts of other positions to allow their coaches to stretch the limits of their role on the field.

These players are what coaches, scouts, and astute analysts call “football players.” John Madden would often say, “Hines Ward isn’t just a wide receiver, he’s … a football player.”

Marcus Allen. Walter Payton. Lawrence Taylor. Ed Reed. Steve Young. All football players in the best sense of the word.

However, not all “football players” are Hall of Fame or Pro-Bowl talents.

Read the rest at Football Outsiders

3 responses to “Futures at Football Outsiders: Nebraska RB Ameer Abdullah”

  1. You’re article was very timely. Thank you for all of your insights, Matt. The “game” is more alive for me in looking at the tiny sparks becoming big flames (Dante). I am no longer a drone watching the “game”.

    I never learned this much film work when playing high school football or from my Dad who coached a different team in a different era with the film on projector reels. When I did the film work for throwing the shot & discuss in the 1990s at a high school camp which my Dad connected me to a different track & field coach, I improved my technique immensely. Thank you, Matt, for your discerning wisdom and sharing your self in the stories. You make scouting and fantasy football come alive!

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