Greg Coleman steps into the spotlight

With both ISU running backs Stevie Hicks and Jason Scales less than 100 percent, it's Greg Coleman's time to shine.

Greg Coleman always knew he'd get a shot at being a Big 12 running back.


"There'd be no point in playing if I didn't think the time would come," Coleman said. "I definitely eventually thought I could be a Big 12 running back."


For Coleman the time is now with the health of No. 1 running back Stevie Hicks and No. 2 Jason Scales in question.


"I just got to be ready every day in practice and going over it," Coleman said. "Stevie's there with me…We're just real good friends, so I kind of know where he stands and I know where I'll be."


When Hicks aggravated his injury in the Army game, Coleman took over rushing for 30 yards in six carries.


Last Saturday against Nebraska, Coleman carried the ball 20 times, gaining 65 yards and scoring the Cyclones lone touchdown of the overtime. He said he hasn't seen that much game time since he was a player at Iowa City West.


"I was pretty beat up [after the game]," Coleman said. "It's been since high school since I've ran the ball that many times but it felt good after the game. It was a horrible loss…we played hard, you could see it everybody's eyes. We left it all out on the field; everyone played their hearts out."


Along with Scales, coming out of high school Coleman was one of the top running backs in the state of Iowa; Coleman said he had to change his running style when he came to Iowa State.


"In high school I could basically do whatever I wanted but here I've got to focus more on getting straight ahead yards," Coleman said. "Speed isn't my greatest attribute so I have to do other things and Coach [Tony] Alford is doing a great job in teaching me how to use those."


Coleman is also learning things from Hicks; he said in practice the two will discuss blitzes and Hicks helps him pick up different packages. Before the Nebraska game Hicks had some words of wisdom for his teammate.


"He just told me to go out and play like you're in high school," Coleman said. "You can't think, you can't worry, and you can't say ‘oh I'm doing this.' You've just got to go play football and know your assignment."


Hard work and talent brought Coleman to this point in his career but things haven't always been easy for the sophomore. Prior to coming to Iowa State Coleman got into some off the field trouble in Iowa City.


"To get where you want to be you have to go through a lot of pain," Coleman said. "The way I look at it God just dealt me that deck of cards and he said if you can work your way through this deck of cards I'm going to give you success. I can't complain about anything that's just the way things happened to me and I've got to take it in stride."


He said it was a combination of being in the wrong place at the wrong time and maybe some immaturity played a role.

"It's just the way life is, sometimes and things happen to people," he said. "Things happened to me when I was in high school and I got into some trouble and I had to rise past it."


Presently Coleman isn't taking his current role for granted, he knows how easy things come and go.


"It's definitely an emotional high," Coleman said. "But you have to keep a level head because you don't know when you're going to lose it. We have a lot of guys who can attest to that. So at the same time you have to stay focused and realize that just as fast as you came to the top you can fall to the bottom."


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