When Rex Burkhead heard that Ron Brown would be his new running backs coach, the junior didn't need much convincing it was going to be good for his future.
“I was so excited, he's the one guy I wanted as a coach,” said Burkhead. “It's just an awesome experience having him out there. He's focused, he gets us ready to practice, he's full of energy, he's just a great guy all around.”
It wasn't that Burkhead didn't appreciate now Nebraska offensive coordinator Tim Beck being his position coach, he liked him a lot. But Brown has changed things up slightly.
“Everyday he's got a lesson for us to think about while we practice,” said Burkhead. “I think that it has really as a team helped us bond, especially in the backfield. Bonding should make us even get better.”
With Roy Helu Jr. gone, Burkhead has now taken the reins as leader of the position. With it being Brown's first year coaching running backs, he will lean heavily on the two-year contributor this fall.
Burkhead will be Ron Brown's biggest weapon
“He's a front runner, he's going to step up...We have some very talented younger running backs coming in and I feel very confident about the informal coaching that will happen between Rex and some of the guys,” said Brown. “He's obviously a great football player, but a tremendous man. He's a real strong Christian kid who values people. He's very humble. He's a great ambassador for the Nebraska football program, he's a great ambassador the game of college football, I'm sure glad he is on our team.”
Brown says he has lots to learn – even with one spring under his belt. Although he's already bounced thoughts and questions off of other coaches, it won't stop him from being a sponge anytime soon.
“I have spent some time with Tim Beck, who had some great thoughts for me,” said Brown. “When I go on the road recruiting, I will meet more other coaches and pick stuff up from them, whether it's high school coaches, junior high coaches, college coaches, or professional coaches, I don't care. I can learn something from anybody. It doesn't mean I have to buy everything they say, but it never hurts to listen."
It wasn't like Brown entered the position never watching it before. He already has somewhat of an idea of who he would like to model his coaching style after.
“I have tried to observe, I got a lot out of Frank Solich. He's a great running backs coach,” said Brown. “Really, I haven't even talked to Frank yet since taking over. I have learned and remembered a lot of things over the years. You work with a guy for 17 years, things start getting ingrained in your blood stream.”