Ameer Abdullah has been written off as not quite good enough everywhere he’s gone, right up until the point where he proves he’s more than good enough. Ameer Abdullah came into Nebraska as just a three-star prospect and turned into a Heisman trophy candidate until he had his senior season derailed by injuries and poor coaching. Despite looking like one of the best running backs in college football for most of the last two years, Ameer Abdullah fell to the second round of the NFL draft until he was taken by the Detroit Lions.
Originally thought to be a backup and possible special teams player, Ameer Abdullah has once again proven critics wrong and this time is even drawing comparisons to Lions great, Barry Sanders. New York Jets coach Todd Bowles was the first to break out the comparison after his team took on Detroit and their rookie running back in the first week of preseason games. While it might seem like an awful lot of hype for Ameer Abdullah, the former Husker did rip off at least one run that certainly made NFL veterans feel like they were witnessing deja vu.
Bowles actually made sure to qualify his comments about Ameer Abdullah, clarifying them with, “He’s quick as a cat. He’s about as quick as Barry Sanders. I’m not saying he is Barry, but he’s a good running back.” It’s still a safe bet that since Barry Sanders wore number 20 and Ameer Abdullah is wearing number 21 that there are going to be more comparisons as the season goes on. As long as Ameer is showing off the moves he did against the Jets for the rest of the season, it stands to reason Abdullah is going to be getting even more mentions alongside the Hall of Famer.
The real excitement is coming from the Lions training camp, because they look to have a running back who can make the kind of noise Reggie Bush did his first year in the Motor City. Bush quickly burned out but Ameer Abdullah is just starting his career. The former Cornhusker has also shown he can carry the load and take a pounding. This isn’t a back who spent most of his career splitting carries between another starter. The Barry Sanders comparisons are clearly premature, but the running back has gone from being slated as a 3rd down back to likely starter. Ameer Abdullah just keeps defying expectations.
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