April 13, 2013

SPRING FOOTBALL: Bollman liking Riley Bullough

EAST LANSING - The initial returns on Mark Dantonio's latest position change experiment are favorable, creating intrigue for the near future at running back.

As SpartanMag.com first reported on April 10, Michigan State moved redshirt freshman Mike linebacker Riley Bullough to running back this week in practice. Bullough will continue his audition at running back during Saturday's Jersey Scrimmage.

The Spartans are in need of a bigger, tackle-breaking running threat. Michigan State does not have that type of ball carrier among its top three at the position this spring in short, shifty Nick Hill, short and fast Nick Tompkins, or fast and non-physical Jeremy Langford.

"We've always had guys that have been able to play off of each other: a bigger guy and a faster guy that sort of complement each other," Dantonio said. "Right now, we really don't have that. We have Nick Hill, we have Jeremy Langford, we have Nick Tompkins. They are all sort of the same type of guy. So to get that tough yard in there, to get that grind-out yard, we don't have a guy yet."

Bullough spent some time at tailback on the scout team offense last year, most notably portraying Iowa banger Mark Weisman, a walk-on who became one of the surprise success stories of 2012, averaging 815 yards and 5.1 yards per carry.

"He was impressive (simulating Wiseman)," Dantonio said. "So I thought, 'Well, let's see what he can do.' And the other day (Tuesday's practice), he was impressive. He'll get reps tomorrow (Saturday) in the scrimmage and we'll see how he can do."

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