Iowa’s Akrum Wadley channels Floyd Mayweather on durability, longevity

It’s assumed that all collegiate running backs aspire to be the next version of the NFL’s current best. For Iowa star running back Akrum Wadley, he’s looking at an athlete from a totally different sport for his inspiration — boxing great Floyd Mayweather.

Much has been made of the shelf life of an NFL running back. Even the best of the best at the position go from hero to zero in a hurry.  Meanwhile, the very athlete Wadley gets his determination from just capped off a successful career that spanned more than two decades with a professional record of 50-0 — an incredible example of both durability, and longevity.

Wadley took time out of his busy schedule to speak exclusively with Draft Breakdown. This conversation took place just days before he nearly helped Iowa pull off a shock upset over Penn State. In that Big Ten showdown, Wadley totaled 155 yards and two touchdowns — both of which came in a crucial fourth quarter.

In addition to our conversation about Mayweather, Wadley and I discussed how Iowa is helping him get ready for the NFL, his favorite runs in the playbook, which NFL running backs he compares with, and a ton more. Enjoy.

JM: We’re here with Iowa running back Akrum Wadley. Thanks for joining me today Akrum.

AW: Thanks for having me.

JM: You must be feeling pretty good right now. I know I would be, after that insane touchdown versus Iowa State.

AW: It was a big play in an important game. It was a special moment for me.

JM: You showed a lot of positive traits on that play. Correct me if I’m wrong, you put up 190 yards and two touchdowns against Iowa State?

AW: About 190 yards collectively, yeah. About 260 total yards if you include special teams.

JM: I’m curious, do you get yourself extra motivated for an in-state rivalry game like that?

AW: Oh yeah, definitely. We play those guys [Iowa State] every year. Throughout my time at Iowa, that game has always been tough. Fortunately, we’ve come out on top every time since I’ve been here. We know games like that are the reason why we work so hard during the summer. You know you’re gonna’ get your opponent’s best shot. We’re fighting for who’s state it is. It goes beyond bragging rights.