Mark Weisman playing underdog for Iowa
When the Central Michigan football team takes the field against Iowa for the third time ever, the Chippewas will be lined up against an underdog – not Iowa itself, but its running back.
Sophomore Mark Weisman is likely to make his first ever career start for Iowa – at a program he didn’t envision playing for – at running back – a position he began playing at last week.
Two years ago he committed to Air Force to play fullback. He wanted to play football there because Air Force runs the triple option – an offense where the fullback is vital and gets plenty of carriers.
But after one semester, Weisman transferred.
“He was tired of having guys bounce quarters off his bed,” Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz said. “I don’t know how much of this is legend, but I heard he got to point he was tired of sleeping on the floor. That wasn’t the path he wanted to take.”
So the six foot, 225 pound fullback transferred to Iowa – a place that does not utilize the fullback.
“It is surprising to see in our program – usually we move frustrated linebackers to fullback,” Ferentz said. “It’s unusual to have (a true fullback), but it’s a good thing.”
After sitting out his first season, Weisman made an impact on coaches during spring and fall practices to earn playing time.
“We were really impressed by Mark,” Ferentz said. “He really got on our radar screen in spring practice. I don’t know if anyone practiced harder in August than him.”
Still, the hard work had him behind older guys. But when the top two running backs went down with injuries, the coaches made the decision to put Weisman at running back.
He answered the bell, rushing for 113 yards and all three Iowa touchdowns against Northern Iowa.
With starting running back Damon Bullock doubtful and backup Greg Garmon question, Ferentz and the Hawkeyes might be turning to the unlikely candidate Weisman against CMU Saturday.
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