Weisman Getting Bigger, Faster, Stronger

April 12, 2013

Spring Practice No. 8 | Interview with M. Weisman

IOWA CITY, Iowa — It was the second question University of Iowa head football coach Kirk Ferentz was asked on the day the Hawkeyes opened spring drills March 27.

Would junior running backs Mark Weisman and Damon Bullock be in the backfield at the same time?

“If we can have those two guys out there, I think it gives us a little bit more fire power, which is something we lacked last year for sure,” Ferentz said.

Weisman led the Hawkeyes on the ground in 2012 with 815 yards and eight touchdowns; Bullock averaged a team-high 85.5 yards per game, rushing for 513 with three touchdowns in six games. While Weisman provides most of the thunder, Bullock could share the lightning duties with sophomore Jordan Canzeri, who rushed for 58 yards and caught six passes for 28 yards and a touchdown in the 2011 Insight Bowl.

“Whatever the coaches want to do,” Weisman said Thursday after practice. “We want to see who can make plays out there and get the best playmakers on the field. That’s what has been going on now in spring ball, so we’ll see what’s going to happen.”

Weisman said the first eight spring practices “have been fun,” as all the contenders for running back have been focusing on improvement.

“It’s a little sloppy now, but it’s all getting better,” Weisman said.

The Hawkeyes will load their gear, hop on buses, and practice Sunday in West Des Moines. Weisman said the players are eager for a workout in front of their fans in central Iowa.

“We’re doing this to thank them,” Weisman said. “Hopefully we’ll have a good crowd there. We’re going to thank them for all the support when they come to Kinnick (Stadium) and make that place crazy.”

Weisman had two carries against Northern Illinois and none against Iowa State before bursting on the scene with a 24-carry, 113-yard, three-touchdown effort Sept. 15 against Northern Iowa. He followed that with rushing games of 217, 177, and 116 yards before being slowed by an ankle injury.

“I’m trying to get stronger, faster, bigger,” Weisman said. “I want to become a more complete back and so do all the other backs. I need to get looser hips.”

Last season the Hawkeyes were 12th in the Big Ten Conference with 123 rushing yards per game and 11th in total offense (310.4). A healthy three-headed monster of Weisman-Bullock-Canzeri in the backfield will undoubtedly boost that production.

“None of us were out there together, so we’ll see what happens,” Weisman said.

To watch a post-practice video interview with Weisman, click HERE.

For more information on the Hawkeyes’ public practice Sunday in West Des Moines, click HERE.