Published Wednesday, February 20, 2013 at 8:43 pm / Updated at 9:39 am
Burkhead feels good about his NFL prep work
NFL Combine
When: Wednesday to Tuesday
Where: Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis
TV: NFL Network

LINCOLN — Rex Burkhead's checklist for the NFL Combine is rather lengthy.

It won't be enough for the former Nebraska I-back to just log the right times in his runs, his best heights and distances in the jumps and the most possible reps in the bench press.

It won't be enough for him to show he can do anything the other backs can do in position drills.

And it won't be enough to just say all the right things and make the best impressions in interviews with NFL teams.

As with everything he strived to do at Nebraska, Burkhead wants to be complete. He wants to do it all.

“I just want to have a solid performance,” Burkhead said. “I'm very confident right now in my abilities with all those things.”

Burkhead might have some ground to make up on other backs as he heads to Indianapolis after missing about half of his senior season with a knee injury. He is ranked No. 19 among running backs by Scott Wright of NFL Draft Countdown and No. 20 by

But the 5-foot-11 210-pounder from Plano, Texas, believes he might already have done some of that the past six weeks in Davie, Fla.

Burkhead reported to Bommarito Performance Systems shortly after the Capital One Bowl and hunkered down with a singular purpose for the NFL Combine. He said owner Pete Bommarito's reputation with running backs in past years — among them Frank Gore, LeSean McCoy and Maurice Jones-Drew — led him to South Florida.

His strides, he said, have been significant ever since.

Join the conversation on the Big Red Today Facebook page.

“There are so many different things,” Burkhead said. “With my speed, I definitely feel good running, feel quick and fast. And I feel my body changing just because of all the meals provided.”

Burkhead said his diet has been completely organic with each meal measured down to the calorie. From pre- to post-workout shakes, everything has been scientifically manufactured by Bommarito.

Following the overall plan down to every last detail, Burkhead said, will help him look back without a single regret as he boards his flight Thursday.

“This facility, they prepared me in every single way, from massage to physical therapy to chiropractic care,” he said. “I had everything I needed to get my body in the best possible condition. I'm feeling good and just ready to roll.”

That confidence also extends to his left knee, which Burkhead injured in the Huskers' opening game last season. The MCL sprain caused him to miss all of six games and parts of three others, limiting him to 98 carries and 675 rushing yards — a significant dropoff from running for 1,406 yards as a junior.

The nature of business at the NFL Combine is that even the most healthy are closely examined, so Burkhead knows his knee will get more than just a once-over before he takes to workouts.

“I've heard things at the Combine where if you had something in the past, they're going to check it out as much as possible,” he said. “I'm sure I'll get an MRI and all that stuff. But I'm not too worried about it. It feels good. It feels as good as the other knee.”

Burkhead will go through the physical exams and interviews with NFL personnel on Friday and Saturday. The backs then take to the Lucas Oil Stadium turf on Sunday.

Burkhead knows one of the questions on him might be his athleticism, but said: “I really think I can probably surprise some people there.”

That goes back to being the total package. Running and jumping well. Catching the football and displaying his footwork in drills.

“Just (show) that I can do multiple things,” he said.

After the NFL Combine, Burkhead plans to return to Lincoln and train at NU, with his next target being the Huskers' pro day on March 7. Eventually he might take a closer look at NFL teams and think about which ones might be the best fit.

“But I watch NFL football and I do know some systems that would be wonderful to play for, especially with the coaches and staffs and running games that they have,” Burkhead said. “But I'd really love to play for whatever team will have me.”

Contact the writer:


Contact the writer: Rich Kaipust    |   402-444-1042    |  

Rich Kaipust is a staff writer for The Omaha World-Herald and covers Nebraska football and some general assignment tasks, including the College World Series and U.S. Olympic Swim Trials.

Read more related stories


< >
2013 college football preview
View our 2013 college football preview, a 26-page, three-part section filled with coverage of the Huskers, Big Ten conference and more.
Big Red Bowl Retrospective
See complete historical results, game recaps and photo coverage from the Nebraska Cornhuskers college football bowl game appearances, from the 1941 Rose Bowl up to today.
Big Ten football recruits
The World-Herald's Big Ten recruiting database contains every football recruit that signed with a Big Ten school from 2002 to 2011, complete with color-coded interactive map representations, player information, high-concentrations recruiting clusters and more.
Devaney Center timeline
Check out a World-Herald timeline to see the evolution of memorable moments at the Devaney Center, complete with photos, videos, memorable quotes and more.
Follow OWHbigred on Twitter
Looking for the latest Husker sports news from The Omaha World-Herald and Follow us on Twitter!
Husker scholarship distribution chart
Want to see how many scholarships NU has invested at each position? Wondering how the Huskers have appropriated their offers by class? Check out our handy chart to look further into how Bo Pelini has built his team.
Husker Signing Day 2013
The World-Herald's top-notch coverage of the Nebraska football's class of 2013, complete with videos, photos, articles, live recruit interviews, interactive components and more.
Husker turnovers: A slippery slope
Bo Pelini has coached 68 games at Nebraska. When NUís turnover margin is positive or even, the Huskers are 35-2. When they lose the turnover battle, theyíre 13-18. Why hasnít Nebraska joined the nationís elite? More than anything, itís turnovers.
Interactive: Bo Pelini's contract
View an interactive PDF of Pelini's revised contract signed by the NU football coach, complete with brief summaries of the legalese and insight into the document's finer points.
Interactive: Darin Erstad's contract (2012)
View an interactive PDF of NU baseball coach Darin Erstad's contract released in August 2012, complete with brief summaries of the legalese and insight into the document's finer points.
Interactive: Tim Miles' contract
View an interactive PDF of Tim Miles' contract signed by the Nebraska men's basketball coach on May 4, 2012, complete with brief legal explanations, comparisons to other Big Ten coaches and more.'s Big Ten coverage
Delivering the best news coverage and analysis of the Big Ten Conference, from and other top news outlets from around country.
Husker Recruiting: Changes shrink NU's sphere of influence
For decades, the Great Plains represented fertile recruiting ground for Tom Osborne's football program. Restoring that lost tradition won't be easy.
Deadline Deal thumbnail
The Jaipur in Rockbrook Village
Half Off Fine Indian Cuisine & Drinks! $15 for Dinner, or $7 for Lunch
Buy Now
< >