Iowa football: Top 5 running backs in Kirk Ferentz era

LINCOLN, NE - NOVEMBER 24: Running back Akrum Wadley
LINCOLN, NE - NOVEMBER 24: Running back Akrum Wadley /
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Iowa Hawkeyes, Kirk Ferentz
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The Iowa football team has largely been known for its bread and butter running game in the Kirk Ferentz era. Who are his top five at the position?

Look at any Iowa football team in the last 20 years and the key position groups are usually the offensive line and the running back corps. The latter has always been a huge part of the Iowa offense with great depth that is heavily recruited every season.

Look back to the 2012 season for all the proof you need. When running backs Damon Bullock and Greg Garmon were lost to injury while Jordan Canzeri was still recovering from an ACL tear, fullback Mark Weisman nominated himself to carry the load.

Whether it be highly touted recruits, junior college transfers, or walk-ons, the Iowa running game will continue to be the focal point of the offense. Much like Wisconsin, they center their offense around a strong running game paved by a great offensive line.

The Hawkeyes offense, even before Kirk Ferentz became the head coach, has never been a pass first offense as the most passing touchdowns in a single season was set by Chuck Long in 1985 (26). Since then, both Brad Banks in 2002 and Nate Stanley in 2017 and 2018 have matched that total.

The Iowa offense figures to have a strong running game in 2019 with guys like Mekhi Sargent, Toren Young, and Ivory Kelly-Martin splitting carries. Expect Henry Geil and even Tyler Goodson and Shadrick Byrd to get a few carries. Iowa has typically always had a speedy back that is complemented with a bruiser style back; Sargent and Young being those this season, respectively.

Let’s take a look back at the top five running backs in the Kirk Ferentz era.