Just a few weeks out from the first game of the Iowa football season, it appears two running backs are likely moving on from the program.
First, I want to start off by saying no announcement has been made regarding what we are discussing, but Iowa football running backs Samson Evans and Henry Geil were not listed on the 110-man fall-camp roster (noted first by Chad Leistikow).
While this is unfortunate news, it’s happened before, and it typically is a sign that these players will eventually be departing the Iowa football program.
However, it does clear up a position group that was incredibly deep.
Prior to this, the depth chart featured three junior running backs in last year’s leading rusher and Doak Walker Award watch list nominee Mekhi Sargent, bulldozing running back Toren Young, and last year’s opening game starter Ivory Kelly-Martin. Behind them was Evans and Geil and two exciting true freshman Shadrick Byrd and Tyler Goodson.
Evans is a guy who redshirted in 2018 while he made the transition from quarterback to running back while Geil is someone who many thought would be the future starting running back for the Iowa football team. Last year as a freshman, Geil saw action in two games carrying the ball 15 times for just 37 yards.
Statistically, the Hawks aren’t losing much from last year, but it’s always a bummer to see scholarship players with such promise leave the program.
That being said, the Iowa football teams coaching staff is evidently happy with their stable of running backs, and it sounds like we could see Byrd and/or Goodson get limited reps in meaningful games this year like Geil did last season.
When asked about the running back position and specifically whether it was basically the stable of five backs above, Kirk Ferentz had this to say in his Friday press conference.
"Yeah, pretty much, yeah, and we got a good look at Shadrick (Byrd) last spring, so it’s good to see (Tyler) Goodson out there now and get him running around a little bit, and it’ll be fun to watch him tomorrow. We’ll do some live work, so we’ll see what he looks like. But all five of those guys are doing well and they’re all, I think, practicing well."
So it sounds like this is the running back group of the present and the future.
Over the next 3-4 years, these are the five guys you should expect to hear toting the rock.