Steven Collins will make his debut as coach of the George Rogers Clark football team tonight in Corbin.
Collins and his staff have spent the past six months preparing for the upcoming season, which includes five home games and the same number of road encounters.
“I’ve been focusing on Corbin, but that’s just around the corner,” he said. “When we get past this week, I’ll look more into it, but that’s going to be a special night. Some of those players I coached over there, will be seniors, but I’m wearing red and black and I’m a Cardinal now and that’s the big thing. I’ll be on the other side, but that will be fun. It just adds a little twist to the rivalry, I guess. We definitely want to get this one (the opener) under our belts first.”
Corbin and Clark have split the last two games between the two schools. A year ago, Pokey Harris rushed for 286 yards and scored five touchdowns in Clark’s 39-29 victory over the Redhounds at Cardinal Stadium.
Harris, graduated last spring and is a freshman on scholarship at Murray State.
Praise for Burkhead
Nebraska coach Bo Pelini offered praise for senior running back Rex Burkhead recently.
Burkhead, a senior I-back, rushed for 1,357 yards and 17 touchdowns last season. Burkhead, mentioned as a potential Heisman Trophy candidate, averaged 104.4 yards per game, ranking him third in the Big Ten and 19th nationally.
“Rex is a pretty special football player and a special kid,” Pelini said. “I think everybody can see what he can do as a football player.
"He’s tough. He can do it all on the field. He’s multi-talented. He has all the intangibles. But beyond that, what he does for your football team and your program is tremendous.”
Off the field, Burkhead was honored as the 2012 Uplifting Athletes Rare Disease champion for bringing awareness to Nebraska fan Jack Hoffman, a youngster who has a rare pediatric brain tumor.
“To me, the definition of what a role model is and what a student-athlete should be,” Pelini said. “And the things he does in our community, the type of leader he is, the type of example he sets on a daily basis, what he’s accomplished in the classroom, I wouldn’t trade him for another player in the country. That’s how much I think of Rex and what he is to our program and the University of Nebraska. And you always say when you recruit kids, you say: This kid can do this for your program. He can be that. And he’s lived up to everything that we envisioned when we recruited Rex.
“It’s not real often you can say that because, believe me, when you’re recruiting, you’re putting high expectations on guys. Rex has lived up to each and every one of them.
Burkhead is the son of George Rogers Clark graduates Rick and Robyn Burkhead.