Iowa CITY, Iowa - Damon Bullock isn't superstitious. He's not concerned that Iowa has experienced a run of misfortune at his position in recent years.
"As long as you keep your head straight and stay out of trouble, you should be good," Iowa's Running Back said at Monday's Media Day. "I don't consider myself to be a trouble maker, so I shouldn't have any problems. We just have to stay focused on our goal, we should be fine."
A persistent reporter asked Bullock again if he was superstitious about what's happened at the position with injuries, transfers and dismissals.
"Nah, we're good," the Texan said. It was obvious that he was done with that line of questioning.
Bullock has been listed as Iowa's starting running back since Jordan Canzeri had his ACL repaired at the beginning of spring drills. However, it didn't sound like he was enjoying a comfortable lead over of a trio of true freshmen - Greg Garmon, Barkley Hill and Nate Meier.
"Everybody looks pretty good right now, but you'd expect that," coach Kirk Ferentz said. "Over the course of time usually the picture becomes a little bit more clear. Then the other obvious part of it, and the most important part of it, is how players perform in games. And that's something you just can't simulate in practice."
Ferentz shows little patience for fumbling and deficient pass protection from his running backs. Bullock has received that message.
"Pretty much just focus on what I have to do, my job, on every single play," he said when asked what he needed to do to be the starter. "Protect the quarterback, hold onto the ball. It's the simple things."
Bullock rushed 235 times for 1,606 yards and 22 touchdowns in his final high school season. He was ranked among the Top 50 seniors in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. He played running back, slot receiver and returned kicks.
"Probably catching the ball, running the ball, blocking, everything," said Bullock when asked to list his best assets. "I consider myself a complete back."
Iowa inserted Bullock at slot receiver when he arrived on campus last summer. He caught one pass for 11 yards in the Insight Bowl after being moved to running back do to injuries and suspensions at the position. He also carried the ball 10 times for 20 yards on the season.
Bullock said he's not surprised by the opportunity in front of him.
"As long as you keep working hard, things can happen for you," he said. "I'm just trying to work hard every day and we'll see where it ends."
Bullock is confident in himself should he get the call when Iowa opens the season Sept. 1 at Chicago's Soldier Field against Northern Illinois.
"I can say I'm ready, but we have a lot of running backs on this team that are ready as well," he said. "We're going to all work hard during camp and see how it is (against NIU)."
Despite only being on campus for a little more than a year, Bullock also is playing the role of leader to the freshmen.
"All of them have potential," Bullock said. "We're just trying to help them out. We don't want to leave anybody behind. It's not just a single-man game. So, whoever can help the team is going to help the team."