Iowa CITY, Iowa - This is the second in a series of positional breakdowns as Iowa gets ready for spring football. Today, it's running back:
Roster - Jason White, RS Sr; De'Andre Johnson, RS So.; Jordan Canzeri, TR So.; Greg Garmon, TR Fr.; Barkley Hill, TR Fr.
Key Losses - Marcus Coker, Mika'il McCall.
Contenders - Canzeri, Garmon, Hill.
Favorite - Garmon.
Breakdown - While I tabbed Garmon as the starter based on ability, I think Iowa will rotate the backs in some way, especially early in the year. I also think the competition is open this spring when the veterans get to show their stuff before the true freshmen come to town this summer.
White was set to graduate after four years as a Hawkeye, but returned after Coker and McCall transferred. He must have thought he had a chance to impact the position to change his plans.
White is an exceptional leader and someone the Iowa coaches like in the passing game. His value goes well beyond his yards per carry.
Johnson moved up to No. 2 in the rotation last season even though he wasn't recognized on the depth chart. He rushed 18 times for 79 yards before hurting himself during bowl prep.
Canzeri stepped in for the injured Johnson and the suspended Coker and McCall to be the feature back in the Insight Bowl. The New York native ran 22 times for 59 yards against Oklahoma and also caught six passes for 28 yards and a score.
Canzeri will be on the field in some capacity this fall. I wouldn't be shocked for him to begin the season as the starter, although I'll stick with Garmon. I think the two backs complement each other.
Hill is a guy on which to keep an eye. A lot of people were sleeping on Adam Robinson as an in-state back and Hill comes to town with a better resume.
One of the things I like about all of the Iowa backs is that they are solid pass receivers. That allows new offensive coordinator Greg Davis to create.
Garmon is the the complete mix of runner and receiver, power and speed, on the roster. The key for him will be picking up pass protections and other assignments. If he can accomplish that, the sky is the limit for this kid.
Outlook - No position on the roster has witnessed more turnover the last five years. That said, It hasn't been a problem.
Iowa attracts top talent at the position and this group is more than capable of having a very good year.