Will C.J. Beathard continue to have green light to scramble?

Chad Leistikow
Iowa quarterback C.J. Beathard (16) is sacked but Tennessee defensive end Derek Barnett (9) and Tennessee linebacker Curt Maggitt (56) as theUniversity of Tennessee plays Iowa in the TaxSlayer Bowl during the first half
Friday Jan. 2, 2015, in Jacksonville, FL

IOWA CITY, Ia. – One of C.J. Beathard's most important Iowa football coaches has become strength and conditioning guru Chris Doyle.

Beathard is following the advice and swallowing the suggested supplements from Doyle in an effort to beef up, which is especially important now that he's the Hawkeyes' go-to quarterback.

"I'd like to gain a few pounds," Beathard said Wednesday, "so some of those hits don't hurt as bad."

Beathard, listed at 6-foot-2, 209 pounds, knows he must be durable. With Jake Rudock likely on the path to Michigan's program next fall, Beathard will be the Hawkeyes' only QB to have taken a college snap when the season opens Sept. 5 against Illinois State.

Despite that fact, he doesn't plan on changing his wide-open style – the one that saw him rush for 82 yards on eight carries and throw for 145 yards and two touchdowns while sharing snaps with Rudock during the 45-28 TaxSlayer Bowl loss to Tennessee on Jan. 2.

Beathard was arguably at his best and kept defenses off balance when he was free to run last fall.

"Obviously I'm not going to stop running the ball, because I feel like I can do things with my feet that will help us," Beathard said. "When I get the green light and I see the opening, I'm going to take that chance and continue to take shots down the field."

That said, Beathard understands as a junior-to-be quarterback and the guy that's been anointed to lead these Hawkeyes – perhaps for the next two years – he can't take repeated straight-on shots like he took against the Volunteers.

That's where a little extra muscle could help.

"Obviously I should probably get down and stuff," Beathard said. "Coaches told me, slide when I can. I don't want to get knocked out of a game for trying to lower my shoulder on someone."