Greg Garmon reacted the same way Iowa fans did after hearing that Iowa running back Jordan Canzeri had suffered a serious knee injury in practice Wednesday.
“When I first heard it, I was sad because he’s a teammate to me now,” Garmon said Friday afternoon. “So I was upset a little bit.”
Canzeri’s misfortune ultimately could pay dividends for the 6-foot-2, 200-pound Garmon, who was one of two high school senior running backs who signed a letter of intent with Iowa in February. Cedar Falls prep Barkley Hill is the other.
There was speculation Garmon, a native of Erie, Pa., would play next fall as a true freshman, even before Canzeri tore his ACL. Canzeri was listed as the No. 1 running back heading into spring practice, but now he plans to redshirt next season.
“That was a big factor for me picking Iowa,” Garmon said of the chance to play immediately. “We’re all going into camp competing, and the best man is going to win the position.”
Sophomore-to-be Damon Bullock has been listed as Canzeri’s backup this spring with redshirt sophomore De’Andre Johnson backing up Bullock.
Junior fullback Brad Rogers also could be in the mix at running back. He has played both positions since coming to Iowa and was recruited as a running back coming out of high school before switching to fullback.
Iowa running backs coach Lester Erb addressed the situation at running back with the media on Wednesday just hours before Canzeri was injured. Erb praised Bullock, who split time as a receiver last season, and Rogers for their versatility and he noted that Garmon and Hill have good size as running backs.
Garmon and Hill also bring good credentials, with Garmon ranked as a four-star recruit and Hill rushing for more than 6,000 yards in high school.
“Both guys have a passion for football, and both guys are going to have a chance to come in here and compete,” Erb said.
Canzeri’s injury is the latest in a long stretch of adversity for Iowa running backs. Since 2010, six running backs — including five with starting experience — have left the team with eligibility remaining.
One of those to leave was Jewel Hampton, who also suffered a torn ACL against Arizona in the third game of the 2010 season. Hampton missed the rest of the season and eventually transferred out of the program.
Despite all of the misfortune for Iowa running backs, Garmon remains optimistic.
“It’s going to change this fall,” Garmon said. “All of this is going to change this fall, all that bad luck.”
Garmon said he’ll be in Iowa City to attend the open practice April 14, which marks the end of spring practice.
He also said he’ll be ready next fall to take the pounding that comes with being a Big Ten running back.
“Oh yeah, man, I’m ready for it,” Garmon said.
Category: Iowa Hawkeyes Football