Damon Bullock comes to Iowa with something to prove. Despite a strong senior season, the Texas prep saw very little attention on the recruiting trail.
"I've got a big chip on my shoulder," the running back said. "There were a lot of people that passed on me. I'm just thankful that Coach (Kirk) Ferentz gave me the chance to show them all what they missed out on."
Bullock (6-0, 200) rushed for more than 1,600 yards and 20 scores as a senior at Mansfield High. He missed all but three games of his junior season after breaking his collar bone.
"I think that set back his recruitment," Mansfield Coach Jeff Hulme said. "He didn't have any junior film. All the Texas (college) coaches told me they like him but they don't have a spot for him. They filled up with early commitments."
Hulme sent Bullock's senior tape to schools outside of Texas.
"Coach Ferentz and Coach (Darrell) Wilson liked what they saw and gave us a call," Hulme said. "Things just fell into place. I think it's a great fit for Damon and I think Iowa found a jewel.
"Damon is not a big back that can't run. He's a legit 4.4 guy. He belongs at the big time level and Iowa is one of the best schools around."
Had Iowa not offered a scholarship, Bullock's options were North Texas, Southeastern Oklahoma and Angelo State, Hulme said. Bullock visited Iowa last weekend and received an offer on Monday night.
"I loved it," he said. "I came home and thought about how well I fit in there."
Mansfield runs a pro-style offense with a fullback and a tight end.
"He's not going to have to learn to run downhill behind a fullback," Hulme said. "That makes it an even better fit."
Bullock describes himself as a team player who loves to win.
"I'm competitive," Bullock said. "I feel like I'm an all-around player."
Said Hulme: "He did everything we asked of him. He played on all the special teams. And he gets it done in the classroom. I'm not sure what more you'd want out of a student-athlete."
Bullock is looking to major in sports marketing but he said that could change. He's ready to compete on the field as a freshman.
"I want to be successful at Iowa, get my degree and go on and try to make it to the NFL," Bullock said. "If I can't do that, I want to have a successful career in whatever I major in."
Bullock runs track at Mansfield. He reports his best time in the 200 meters at 22.1 seconds.