15 Aug 2013 10:03 AM EST
-by Daniel Mogollon, Staff Writer; Image: Mark Weisman rushed for 815 yards (5.1 yards per carry) and eight touchdowns in 2012. (Image Source: David Purdy/US Presswire)
Last season was not the type of year you guys were looking for (4-8; lost the last six games). Is that something you talked a lot about as motivation or is it something you just push aside and say we’re going to get back to Iowa football in 2013?
We definitely used it as motivation. We used it as motivation in the offseason and by the time summer came we put it behind us and now we’re working hard each and every day trying to improve as we’ve been doing so far in camp and that’s what we got to continue to do.
You started your career at the Air force Academy, transferred to Iowa as a walk-on and eventually earned your way up from fullback to the starting running back role. Yet you still have a “walk-on mentality.” Can you explain what that means? What’s a “walk-on mentality?”
It’s pretty much just working hard. You have to work harder than everyone else, than the kids that are on scholarship. It’s never taking anything off and you have to be better than everyone else to even get a chance.
Where does that attitude come from? It is just because you started your career at Iowa as a walk-on or is that the type of attitude you had growing up? Where was that instilled?
I don’t think you can just get that attitude. I think it’s from growing up. Always trying to work harder than (the next guy). I guess (it comes) from my dad and it’s a great trait to have and I’m thankful I have it.
Talk about the backfield as a whole: you have yourself returning, a couple of other guys coming back and a couple of talented freshmen. What are the expectations for the Iowa running game this season?
We have a ton of guys out there that are talented and that are willing to work hard and we’re happy so far. We all feed off each other, make each other better and it’s been fun so far and we just want to improve each and every day…get the best out of each other.
What are the relationships with the running backs like off the field?
We are all pretty good friends. We’ll hang out, watch TV and stuff…play videogames, we play cards. We’re all fond of each other, we’re all good friends.
Who’s the card shark in the group?
(Laughs) No one is really that big of a card player. We just mess around with it a little bit.
Going from walk-on to fullback to starting tailback, did your life change off the field? I am sure more people recognize you walking around campus…
Maybe a little bit but you just go along with it. It doesn’t really matter. I like to stay away from all that stuff but it’s kinda fun.
It’s possible we could see you with some of the other running backs in the backfield together in 2013. In that scenario what’s your role? Would you be going back to being a traditional fullback or would you play more of a hybrid role?
We’ll see…you never know. We’re working on all types of things with that. We will see how it goes and we’ll see what happens in game one.
Did coach Ferentz prep you for this interview? Keeping it close to the vest?
We really don’t know how we’re all going to be used so we’ll see. We’re just trying to work out things and see how things look in practice.
In addition to your injury, you lost two of your better offensive linemen for the season against Penn State and that is when the losing streak started. From a running back’s perspective, how difficult is it for you to perform when your offensive line loses two key cogs?
The offensive line, it is always a big loss when you lose them, they have their type of team chemistry. You just have to fight through that. We have a ton of great offensive linemen that are backing up so when their time comes they have to step up just like all the running backs do. We have everyone healthy now, so well see. Hopefully, we can all stay healthy.
How does the O-line look in camp?
It’s looking very good so far. Improvement every day, along with the running backs too, so we’ll see how it goes. We just have to continue to improve and be consistent.
Let’s close out with a non-football question. Do you have a favorite TV show?
My favorite TV show is Entourage.
Daniel Mogollon is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America and the Football Writers Association of America. He is also a voter for the Thorpe and the Rotary Lombardi Award, as well as the Latino Sports MVP Awards.
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