You might know by now that Ameer Abdullah was the player who let his voice be heard in the locker room after Nebraska's narrow escape of Wyoming.

It was a passionate speech, pretty much to tears, according to teammate Jamal Turner.

That Abdullah was the man to stand before the team in a tough moment did not surprise running backs coach Ron Brown at all.

"When Ameer gets up to speak, everybody really listens," Brown said. "Sometimes guys say things that you kind of expected to be said or there's nothing new under the sun. He always has a lot of wisdom in what he says, and it's very apropos at the time. And it's the right spirit. It's even the way he says it. It's not demeaning, but he's getting after you at the same time. He's lighting a torch under you."

Some guys have good things to say, Brown says, but their timing is bad when they say it.

That's not the case with Abdullah, the coach thinks. He seems to have a good sense of when it's time to speak and when it's time to stay quiet.

The junior isn't one of the team captains, but he's definitely as much a leader as any on this team.

"Here's the thing about leadership: You don't have to be voted as a captain," Brown said. "I go back to Tommie Frazier. He was never voted as a captain but he was clearly our leader. You don't have to wait for the popular vote. If you're a leader, it's got to be overflow. And when you're a true leader, it will overflow out of you. It won't be contained. And that's Ameer."


There's been plenty of scrutiny in these parts about Nebraska's season-opening performance.

Brown, in his 23rd season as a Husker coach, said it's key at times like these for players and coaches to not let others define who you are.

And it's not as though Brown hasn't been through this a time or two.

"I would say even back in the day, we got a lot of scrutiny back then," Brown said. "In 1990, Tom (Osborne) said, 'You know, they're talking about firing us and stuff. If you guys can get a job, you better think about it.' There's always been a lot of scrutiny. He told us that. But then we remounted our forces and just dug in deeper and stronger, and said, 'No, we're going to battle this one out and let the wind blow where it will blow.'"

Brown remembers coaching on Nebraska teams where 11-2 was frowned on by some.

"So it's really about maximizing your ability and being able to look in the mirror at yourself at the end of day, and saying, 'You know what, I've done the very best I can, I still have a lot to learn, and as long as I get the chance to learn it, I'm going to go ahead and do it, keep tweaking it. I saw it with Coach Osborne. My first seven years, we lost seven straight bowl games and everybody said you're overrated, and this and that, and you're in the Top 10 but you always fizzle out. Or you can't win the big one. And then what happened in the last four or five years of Tom's career? Phenomenal. It came from perseverance."

Reach Brian Christopherson at or 402-473-7439. Follow him on Twitter @HuskerExtraBC.