LINCOLN, Neb. (KMTV) — Despite only being in his 2nd season at Nebraska, Gabe Ervin already feels like a veteran in the running backs room.
"Last year, I was a younger guy and I was just sitting back and just trying to see what I could do better," Ervin said. "But I feel like right now, I'm taking that leadership approach. I want to be that leader in the running back room to guide everything out and do what it takes to win."
The Georgia native jumped on to the scene last year becoming the first true freshman to start a season opener for the Huskers in the modern era.
But Ervin's inaugural campaign was cut short just four games into the season when he suffered a torn ACL at Oklahoma.
"It was a play I ran a thousand times," said Ervin. "Tendinitis in the knee got really bad and made a jump cut, planted it, saw the hole and it just gave out. So a freak accident but now I'm just moving forward and trying to not think about that and just try to be the best I can be on and off the field, the best version of myself."
After seven months of rehab, the 19-year-old is now ready to reclaim the starting spot on the depth chart.
"It's been like he's practiced all spring," said new Nebraska running backs coach Bryan Applewhite. "I've been pleasantly surprised with his work ethic and his toughness. I was a little concerned coming off a knee injury as a running back but he has not wavered one bit."
"It was a long seven months of rehab with Mark (Mayer)," said Ervin. "But I put the pedal to the medal. Every day I woke up, attacked that rehab room and it's a blessing to be back on the field doing what I do again. So that's really my motivation going into game one against Northwestern."