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The Curse of the Iowa Running Backs Strikes Again

Iowa running backs are truly cursed. This week's news that Barkley Hill tore his ACL in a scrimmage on 8/18 is just reinforcing the notion of a curse. This is getting awfully ridiculous and one might wonder why any running back recruit would tempt fate by signing with the Hawkeyes (I'm talking to you Berkley Edwards!). BHGP has come up with the acronym AIRBHG (Angy Iowa Running Back Hating God) as they try to cope with the loss of so many backs over the last several seasons. This chronology from Hawkeye Nation is pretty incredible (edited to just the injuries/suspensions/dismissals).

By my count the overall damage, dating back to 2002 looks something like this...

  • ACLs - 8
  • Other Injury - 7
  • Suspension / Dismissal / Ineligible - 10
  • Transfer - 5
  • Failure to Qualify - 2
  • Leaves early for NFL - 1 (undrafted)

There were some good moments in there with a 10-2 season in 2004, Albert Young had a very good 2006 season and Shonn Green winning the Doak Walker award after taking a couple years to get himself eligible. But 8 ACL tears in 10 years? OUCH.

My edited chronology below the jump (edited to include just the injuries / suspensions / dismissals and removing the joke references and good stuff).

1) Aaron Greving, the projected starter is injured and abruptly quits mid way through the season.
2) Justice Hariston fails to qualify, goes to prep school and then to Purdue where he has a decent, injury free, career.

1) Jermelle Lewis tears ACL in the spring, misses first half of season but is not the same back upon his return
2) Promising freshman Albert Young breaks leg on kickoff return, out for year.
3) AJ Johnson lasts a semester before getting kicked out.

1) Shonn Greene fails to qualify out of high school
2) Fred Russell leaves early for the NFL, goes undrafted
3) Lewis tears other ACL
4) Albert Young tears ACL misses second full season.
5) Marques Simmons misses several games with a high ankle sprain
6) Marcus Schnoor tears ACL
7) Champ Davis misses final four games of 2004 due to injury

1) Kalvin Bailey - flunked out after one year
2) Corey Robertson - flunked out after one year

1) Shonn Greene ineligible
2) Dana Brown assaults girlfriend and is kicked off the team during the great purge of '07.

1) Jevon Pugh - left school after one year
2) Jeff Brinson - injured and redshirts
3) Nate Guillory, a Juco transfer, leaves in fall camp.

1) Jewel Hampton tears ACL in fall camp

1) Brinson leaves before spring ball
2) Brandon Wegher chooses not to play football for Iowa following an 11-2, Orange Bowl winning season.
3) Marcus Coker - breaks collarbone in August camp
4) Hampton - torn ACL by game three, transfers prior to bowl
5) Adam Robinson - concussions, then academics, not in good standing, then marijuana arrest, kicked off team
6) Paki also injured.
7) Brad Rogers misses 2010 Insight Bowl with heart condition

1) Mika'il McCall suffers a broken ankle after nine carries in first game of season
2) McCall is cleared to play but after three games is suspended for the season for undisclosed reasons
3) Coker is suspended for the 2011 Insight Bowl for a violation of the student code.

1) McCall transfers in January of 2012
2) Coker transfers to Stony Brook in January of 2012.
3) Jordan Canzeri suffers knee injury in March of 2012 during the third practice of spring drills, torn ACL.
4) Incoming running back Greg Garmon arrested for marijuana possession and possession of drug paraphernalia in early June. Suspended.
5) De'Andre Johnson, who was listed as the #2 back heading into fall camp per Iowa's 2012 media guide, cited for Disorderly House. Then charged with speeding on a motorcycle as well as briefly evading police, per the police report. Suspended and then dismissed from team.
6) Freshman running back Barkley Hill injures left knee on final play of the scrimmage. Torn ACL & will miss season.