Tallahassee Journal

Nebraska’s Ameer Abdullah not worried about size

Nebraska’s Ameer Abdullah not worried about size

I’m the youngest of nine kids. Grew up in Birmingham, Ala., in a very family oriented atmosphere. It helped me become more of a giver than a taker. We all have different and diverse personalities. We have the easy-spirited people in our family. We have the kind of uptight, business-like people. We have people who are passionate in law, journalism, people who are accountants, pharmacists. Honestly, I’m the self-proclaimed failure of the family.635604667046567473-USP-NFL-Combine

My parents did a great job of raising the first third of the Abdullahs, and those three were great influences on everyone else. By the time it got to the seventh, eighth and ninth child — the last batch — they just let us absorb and become sponges of our older siblings and absorb our good habits from them, let us learn the hard way and also let us benefit from what they’d already been through. With me, they were pretty Laissez-faire, pretty hands off.

Everyone in my family played a sport, either collegiately or high school. But I am the first one to have the opportunity to play professionally. I just signed with adidas, so they were really stoked about that. Ever since I was in high school, they always believed in me. They always thought that I would be here. They realize all the workouts I was putting in paid off, and a lot of the stigmas that were placed on me in high school are being proven wrong again.

Size is something everyone over-sensationalizes. I’m not the big running back. I’ll never be 6 feet. But if you look at my height or weight — 5-9, 205 — that’s not tiny. I really do pack a punch. I’m pretty strong in my lower body, and all my weight comes from muscle. I don’t have much fat on me. So, when I deliver a blow, it’s more effective a lot of the times than a guy who is maybe 6-2, 220 because he’s not as strong.