August 31, 2010

Abdullah finally getting his due

Homewood (Ala.) High School running back Ameer Abdullah rushed over 1,000 yards and 14 touchdowns as a junior while also catching 24 passes for 213 yards yet no colleges took notice. He then was the MVP of the LSU Nike Camp this spring, still the attention was sparse. He returned to the Nike Camp circuit with a second MVP performance in Tuscaloosa and marginal attention followed.

During the summer, Abdullah collected a scattering of offers from a diverse group of college programs that he had impressed at camps. However with the exception of Vanderbilt, Texas A&M and North Carolina State, no BCS offers were coming his way. With six quarters of his senior season behind him, maybe colleges are finally ready to take notice of this dynamic athlete.

In Abdullah's first action, a jamboree two weeks ago, he put together a 191 yard rushing performance to go with two interceptions on defense, all in one half. He followed that up with a performance in a game that counted the following Friday night. Against Bessemer City, Abdullah rushed for 171 yards, had 57 yards receiving and four combined touchdowns. He also led his team in tackles with 14.

It's time for colleges to pay attention.

"It feels great," Abdullah said of his strong start. "A lot of people feel like I just did so well in the camps because I'm built for the camp circuit. I wanted to show them that I can do well at camps but I'm also a football player. Don't overlook me when it comes to the football aspect because to me it's not about camps, it's about who produces on the field."

At least a few colleges are starting to see the light. South Carolina had offered Abdullah a verbal offer back in June but had yet to follow up with an official offer. That offer finally came, as did an offer from a surprise program in Texas Tech.

"My coach wasn't able to make it to practice today and he got a letter late today and they offered me," Abdullah said on Monday evening. "That was probably the most unexpected offer so far. I guess they saw my film and liked it."

Abdullah doesn't know a lot about the program except for its new coach.

"All I know is that Tommy Tuberville got hired as a coach there and I'm an Auburn fan and he coached at Auburn not too long ago," he said.

Texas Tech hasn't said what position they are recruiting Abdullah for but most programs are seeing him as a possibility at either running back or defensive back. South Carolina envisions him working out at either.

"They like me and they think I can come in and play running back or corner," he said of the Gamecocks. "I guess probably corner since they got Marcus Lattimore but he's more of a power back and they said I could come in and be a change of pace back too."

Among his offers, Abdullah lists Vanderbilt, South Carolina and Texas A&M at the top of his list. But with some more potential offers on the horizon that could soon change.

"Those are my top three but one of my good friends (Jervohnte Riles) recently committed to Arkansas. I feel like if they offer me I'd pretty much have my mind made up."

Abdullah's draw to the Razorbacks doesn't end with his friend Riles.

"My sister goes to law school up in Fayetteville," he said. "Also Maudrecas Humphries signed with last year's class and he's a friend of mine. So I'd be surrounded by a lot of good people up there."

While Arkansas would be a welcomed addition to his offer list, the Razorbacks may not be the closest to pulling the trigger. Abdullah thinks that West Virginia may take that title.

"West Virginia I think that's the next team that will offer me," he said. "I think I fit into their offense well. I talked to one of their coaches for a whole period at school about how well I fit their offense and he was saying that I could take over after Noel Devine."

From unknown to the next Noel Devine, Abdullah is finally getting the attention he deserves.


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