Report: Heard to Kentucky

2013-04-11T13:55:00Z 2013-04-11T14:49:55Z Report: Heard to KentuckyBy BRIAN CHRISTOPHERSON JournalStar.com
April 11, 2013 1:55 pm  • 

Former Husker running back Braylon Heard is planning to transfer to Kentucky, according to ESPN's Joe Schad.

Heard will have to sit out this fall and then will have two years of eligibility remaining.

By heading to Kentucky, he'd join former Husker grad assistant and fellow Youngstown native Vince Marrow.

"I feel it is the right spot because I feel like I fit in well at the university..." Heard told Schad. "And yes, can't beat being in the SEC."

Heard was picking between Kentucky and Pittsburgh. The running back could not immediately be reached by the Journal Star.

From Nebraska's end, Bo Pelini said on national signing day he wouldn't close the door on Heard, who has been on the Lincoln campus this spring semester.

“We’ve still got a couple of scholarships left,” Pelini said in early February. “If Braylon decided, re-thought things … I think the world of Braylon. Just, right now, his mind’s set in another place. I wish him luck.”

The 5-foot-11, 185-pound Heard carried the ball 52 times for 348 yards last fall as sophomore, averaging 6.7 yards a carry. Heard did much of his damage on toss sweeps or out of Nebraska's "bone" formation -- or diamond formation.

A four-star recruit out of Cardinal Mooney High School -- the alma mater of both Pelini and Marrow -- Heard showed some perseverance to get to Lincoln, working behind the scenes for a year to become eligible after originally signing with the 2010 recruiting class.

By 2011, he was part of a freshmen running backs class that included Ameer Abdullah and Aaron Green.

His transfer follows the departure of Green, who went to TCU after the 2011 season.

Even with those backs leaving, Husker coaches still feel good about the position, with the junior Abdullah coming off 1,137 rushing yards last season. Imani Cross and King Frazier had impressive springs. And two touted recruits Terrell Newby and Adam Taylor are about to join the fray in the summer.

Abdullah talked to reporters late in the spring about the high standard expected in the Husker running backs room.

"One thing that coach (Ron) Brown always says that always sticks in my mind is we want to create the atmosphere here for the running back position that if you're not working hard, it becomes uncomfortable for you, and you're going to want to leave," Abdullah said.

"If you're not working hard, and you get too uncomfortable and you do leave, you should know why. The character in our room and the standard in our room is really high."

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Steven M. Sipple

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