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Heard says he will leave Nebraska football program

Published: Wed, January 30, 2013 @ 12:00 a.m.



By Joe Scalzo


When Nebraska’s coaches asked Braylon Heard to change positions for the third time in three years, Heard decided it was time to change schools instead.

Rather than move to wide receiver, Heard, a former All-Ohio running back at Cardinal Mooney, will finish this semester in Lincoln, then transfer to a school to be determined, one of his high school coaches, Chris Amill, confirmed Tuesday.

“He’s tired of being moved around so much,” said Amill, who has been close to Heard for years. “He just wants a shot to play running back.”

Heard played running back as a freshman, rushing for 114 yards in limited action, and was briefly switched to cornerback in the spring. (Amill said Heard considered transferring after the move to defense.) After switching back to running back last summer, he rushed for 348 yards and three TDs last fall.

After the season, Heard met with offensive coordinator Tim Beck (a Mooney graduate) and running backs coach Ron Brown, who asked him to move to receiver, Amill said. Heard then called head coach Bo Pelini to inform him of his plans to transfer, Amill said. That contradicts a report in the Lincoln Journal Star; Pelini told the newspaper that neither Heard nor anyone else told him of the running back’s plans to transfer.

“They had an idea it was coming,” Amill said. “Maybe he was hoping that when some time passed, Braylon would change his mind.

“Braylon was really debating what he wanted to do, but at the end of the day, he felt like it was time to go. He’s kind of down about it because he felt like they stuck with him when he was struggling [to qualify academically]. He loves the fans there and the relationships he’s built with his teammates, so it was hard for him to walk away.”

Heard, who did not respond to requests for comment, is the second Mooney player to spurn the Cornhuskers this week. On Monday, Cardinals senior Marcus McWilson changed his verbal commitment from NU to Kentucky.

“I think that’s a coincidence,” Amill said. “With Marcus, it came down to distance, so it’s easy on his parents to go to games.”

Heard has not decided where he’ll play next, Amill said, but Pitt is one of the frontrunners because of its close proximity to Youngstown and because his former Mooney classmate, Ray Vinopal, plays safety for the Panthers. Youngstown State is also in the mix because it’s in his hometown and he could play immediately. If Heard transfers to an FBS school, he would have to sit out a season. Either way, he will have two years of eligibility remaining.

“He’s still pretty wide open to everything,” Amill said.


1wshusker(1 comment)posted 3 years, 5 months ago

Best wishes to this young man as he has a lot of ability and things just didn't work out for him here at Nebraska. Had to be tough to be on the sidelines behind 2 other top running backs when you have as much talent as he has, yet he put in his efforts all the time. Can't say I am happy that the coaches wanted to change his position but I think they were trying to get his athletic abilities on the field at the same time as our other speed players, thus the reason for potential change. Good luck young man! Youngtown State would be a great place to make your name known.

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2mjshusker(1 comment)posted 3 years, 5 months ago

This is tough, but good luck to Braylon. I imagine the coaches were just trying to get him on the field, because he is super talented. In my opinion he was a more complete RB than Abdullah and I never understood why he didn't play more...ALOT more. He will do very well wherever he lands, I just wish he would stay at Nebraska.

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3crimprof(1 comment)posted 3 years, 5 months ago

Good luck to Braylon Heard. He will be a good running back whereever he ends up. We will regret the way he was treated. Okay, he was behind Rex Burkhead and Abdulla. We saw what an injury does. Abdulla moved up and he was next. Abdulla has had a tendency to fumble in clutch situations, e.g. both the 2012 and 2013 bowl games. He could be injured the first game of the season. Coaches, of course, realized this and apparently promised the new recruits something else. This is Aaron Green all over. Bo knew when he said he didn't know. He doesn't have to tell the press one way or the other. Just tell them you don't discuss team personnel matters --- don't speak untruthfully --- it always comes out in the end. Good luck Braylon Heard.

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4HuskerFanHeardFan(1 comment)posted 3 years, 5 months ago

Stick it out, Braylon. There are thousands of Husker fans who support you and want to watch you breaking off TDs at Memorial next fall. We have all followed you and admire you for your perseverance. You're a fan favorite not only for your talent but for sticking to your plan and accomplishing your goal in the face of adversity. Challenges like these will only wake you stronger in the end. Tell the coaches you will stay at RB and you will compete for playing time. Put it on film and MAKE them play you. Don't walk away. Don't quit. We all hope to see you in Scarlet and Cream next fall, Braylon! We stick together in all kinds of weather, brother. You ARE a Husker. God bless.

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5ez(1 comment)posted 3 years, 5 months ago

Look up Coach Solich at Ohio.

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