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Coe's Weymiller Overcomes Chronic Back Problems To Have Career Year

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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa Frank Weymiller is a great football player. The best defensive end in the Iowa Conference, perhaps the best defensive end ever at Coe College.

But there's a little part of you that wonders if he could be even better. That's not an indictment of his skills or work ethic or anything like that.

It's about his back, and the problems it has given him throughout his immense career.

"He is a beast," said Coach Steve Staker, whose Kohawks (9-0) host Central on Saturday afternoon in . "He could be so much better, but if you watch him, you can tell that his back is bothering him. He won't admit it, will not admit it. But I watch him move and stuff. We've held him out of a couple of Tuesday, Wednesday practices (during a game week). He doesn't need the reps at this point, he needs to not be injured."

Weymiller's story has been told before. The former Waukon prep who still has a pin in his thigh because of an injury suffered his senior year in wrestling began his college football career as a walk-on at Iowa State but realized early he'd probably never see the field for the Cyclones.

So he transferred to Coe, where he could play defense, as he wanted to all along. He was a scout team running back, believe it or not, at ISU.

Weymiller has set Coe's all-time sacks record, which includes seven this season. That's despite constantly being double and triple teamed by blockers.

He also has forced 13 fumbles in his career, more than any active college player, regardless of division.

"It's definitely been an interesting journey through college," Weymiller said. "I've definitely been really happy at Coe. Been able to come in and win a lot of games, get a lot of playing time and everything. It's been a great experience."

"If you don't have a good offensive tackle, somebody that's got good feet and is strong, you're in trouble," Staker said. "Because Frank is so quick. He can get by you that way, he's strong, so he can flip you to one side and keep right on going. He's just a complete defensive end. Teams don't run at him, either. They will not run at him, and they'll protect like crazy in passing situations. He is just a tremendous, tremendous defensive end."

Weymiller has shoulder-length hair that supposedly gets chopped two inches every game he doesn't record a sack. That's because of a bet he has with his father.

His back felt good enough during the offseason for him to add significant muscle to his 6-foot-2 frame. He played this season at 240 pounds.

"That was good," he said. "It was really the first offseason where I've been able to workout fully."

Staker said the coaching staff actually toyed with moving Weymiller to a linebacker position the past couple of springs before deciding against it. Probably a good move since he's certain to be an all-American this season at defensive end.

"I think if (Iowa State) would have allowed him to play the position he wanted to play, I think he would be playing some right now," Staker said. "He always wanted to be a linebacker, and they had him as a scout team running back. Even in the Shrine Game his senior year at Waukon, they had him as a wide receiver. "

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