Bossuah leaves mark on NMU football

drew.kochanny

Five years ago, many were skeptical of Mark Bossuah’s ability to be a college football running back. After finishing his career Saturday with over 3,000 rushing yards, 35 touchdowns and three all-conference selections, critics and skeptics are left reconsidering their words.

“Ferris State said I would probably be a defensive back and I wouldn’t play until my red-shirt junior year, and our previous coaching staff, coach Doug Sams, told me I would probably move to defensive back too,” Bossuah said.

Signing with NMU in the 2005 recruiting class, Bossuah was listed at 6’0” and 175 pounds. Bossuah, however had the body frame to add weight and a running style that would help him become one of the top running backs in the conference.

“He plays the game the way it was meant to be played, it’s a tough and physical game and he plays it that way,” head coach Bernie Anderson said.

Not born with elite speed, he found other ways to gain yards. The 175-pound freshman that arrived in 2005 turned into a 215-pound wrecking ball. Running opponents over became the fastest way from point A to point B.

“He doesn’t dance around,” Anderson said. “He’s going to go hard and right at you and he has a good work ethic. As I mentioned, he’s tough and runs north and south.”

Throughout his career at NMU, Bossuah has amassed 3,093 yards rushing, top-five all-time at Northern. From 2006 to 2009 Bossuah led NMU in rushing yards in a season. In 2007 Bossuah earned first-team all-GLIAC.

He is a two-time winner of the Most Valuable Running Back award, and is likely on his way to a third.

The list of Bossuah’s accolades and accomplishments at NMU extends beyond the playing field, into the classroom and off the field as well.

“You didn’t have to worry about his behavior, didn’t worry about his grades, you didn’t worry about him not being ready,” Anderson said. “He was very, very accountable.”

The demeanor and character of Bossuah off the field matches his play on the field. Ask Bossuah what one word describes him and it’s not long before he sends back an answer.

“The best word that probably describes me is probably wild. Some people have nicknamed me Mark Bossuah AKA The Savage,” he said with a smile lighting up his face.

That’s not the most shocking part about the football star and collegiate scholar. The fact that football may not even be his favorite sport may take some by surprise.

“If the world cup final game was on and the Super Bowl was on and you said I could only watch one I think it would be hard to choose. I would have to say I like soccer more than I like the NFL,” he said.

It wasn’t hard to see Bossuah’s love of soccer coming through earlier this year, when he straightened his hair to resemble English Premier League player Didier Drogba, of Chelsea.

“We’ll just keep it as a draw between soccer and football,” he said.

Anyone who has had the chance to meet, play with or even interview Bossuah over the years has got to know quite the character. A role model of what a student athlete should be is what most would say of Bossuah.

“I think he brings a standard to the program that we’re looking for and that’s that accountability,” Anderson said. “He doesn’t take practices off, he plays hard, and that’s a great role model for younger players and I think everyone sees that in Mark.”

Not afraid to give credit where credit is due, Bossuah never forgets to mention others around him, especially his offensive line.

“My career wouldn’t be nearly as good as it was if it wasn’t for them,” he said.

This season Bossuah brought in 720 yards rushing to go with 12 scores, on his way to being named second team all-GLIAC.

There lies no question whether or not teams regret passing up on Bossuah out of high school, the numbers they missed out on speak for themselves. Bossuah himself, however, has no regrets.

“There have been a ton of ups and downs around here, definitely at the end of my career I liked that I came here,” Bossuah said.
Not a bad career for a guy who was told he would never play running back in college.