Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz says sophomore running back Jewel Hampton will miss the entire season due to a knee injury. Hampton originally suffered the injury during a summer workout then reinjured it during fall camp.
Ferentz says Hampton will not make it back and it looks like he will require surgery. He says the only positive spin you can put on it is the injury did not happen in the 5th game of the year, and it is something that can be repaired.
Junior Paki O’Meara and redshirt freshman Adam Robinson are the top two running backs on the depth chart. Ferentz says O’Meara has played well for a couple of years now and played well in their recent scrimmage. He says Adam caught their eye in camp last year and ended up being a redshirt who has played well.
Ferentz says the absence of Hampton won’t put added pressure on quarterback Ricky Stanzi. He says Stanzi is important in the running game in making sure they don’t do dumb things, and says the quarterback is more confident this year with experience. The Hawkeyes have a lot of experience returning from last year’s team but Ferentz says there are always a lot of question marks heading into a season opener.
Ferentz says they are all anxious to see how they perform in a game and every team going into their first game probably has the same feelings. Ferentz says over the years U.N.I. has been able to identify recruits overlooked by the bigger schools and develop them into outstanding players.
Ferentz says James Ruffin is an example of a guy who could play anywhere in the country. He says once a guy gets to the U.N.I. campus they can lift weights and develop and good things can happen.