Nebraska standouts Ameer Abdullah and Randy Gregory were named semifinalists for prestigious national awards Monday morning. Abdullah is one of 20 semifinalists for the Maxwell Award, while Gregory is among 20 semifinalists for the Chuck Bednarik Award. Both awards are presented by the Maxwell Football Club.
Abdullah has rushed for 1,250 yards and scored 19 touchdowns through nine games to power the Nebraska offense. Abdullah leads the nation, averaging 187.9 all-purpose yards per game and has recorded two of the four 300-plus all-purpose yardage games in the nation this season. Abdullah also ranks in the top 10 nationally in rushing yards and scoring. In 2014, Abdullah has moved to No. 2 on the Big Ten career all-purpose yardage list and is on pace to challenge Nebraska’s career rushing record.
Abdullah is one six running backs on the Maxwell Award semifinalist list, including fellow Big Ten backs Tevin Coleman and Melvin Gordon.
Gregory continues to be a dominant force on the Nebraska defense. Gregory has a team-high 5.5 sacks despite missing nearly two full games early in the season. The 6-6, 245-pound Gregory has 37 total tackles on the year, and also leads the Huskers with 14 quarterback hurries. He also has an interception, a blocked field goal and three pass breakups.
Gregory is one of three Big Ten defenders on the list, including Ohio State defensive end Joey Bosa and Michigan State end Shilique Calhoun.
The Maxwell Award is given annually to the Collegiate Player of the Year, while the Chuck Bednarik Award is given to the Outstanding Defensive Player of the Year. The three finalists for each award will be announced on Monday, Nov. 24, and the winners will be announced at the Home Depot College Football Awards Show on Thursday, Dec. 11.