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Garmon's exit no big deal

Here we go again.

Greg Garmon rushed for 3 yards against Minnesota on Sept. 29 when the Hawks and Gophers met in Iowa City. (Justin O'Brien/Voice of the Hawkeyes)

As first reported this afternoon by Pennsylvania-based 247Sports recruiting analyst Bob Lichtenfels, Iowa has lost yet another running back following the decision by Greg Garmon to transfer.

So what’s it mean for Iowa other than a slew of references to a fictional deity that purportedly sets his sights on bringing harm and misfortune to Hawkeye running backs?

First off, yes, it’s hard to ignore the fact Iowa has seen an inordinately high number of running backs wash out of the program since its 2010 Orange Bowl championship. Heck, just in the past 12 months the Hawks watched Mika’il McCall (Southern Illinois), Marcus Coker (Stony Brook) and De’Andre Johnson (Dismissed) precede Garmon in exiting the program. You can add Rodney Coe to the list if you’d like as well, a non-qualifier who landed at Iowa Western Community College where he moved to the defensive line and subsequently earned a scholarship to rival Iowa State.

Yeah, it’s beyond ridiculous at this point that a program like Iowa could have, and has, suffered such attrition at one very vital position in such a short amount of time. However, perspective is the key here. Coe could have been a Hawkeye had he done his work in the classroom. No one forced Johnson to have two separate run-ins with Johnson County law enforcement over the summer, the second of which led to his dismissal from the team. McCall chose to leave the program after serving a late-season suspension for violating team rules in 2011 despite working his way back from a serious knee injury suffered in the team’s opener against Tennessee Tech. Now Garmon is leaving because, as he put it to Lichtenfels, he wants to find a better fit.

"I just didn't feel comfortable here anymore with the offense,” said Garmon, who rushed for 122 yards on 38 carries. “It is a power offense and I am not a power type of a back. I'm more of a scat-back type guy.”

Let’s no overlook the fact Garmon’s brief Iowa career didn’t exactly get off on the best of feet after he was picked up by police in his hometown over the summer and charged with simple possession of marijuana and possession of a controlled substance. Garmon wasn’t suspended for the incident but it couldn’t have sat well with Kirk Ferentz and there was likely some form of internal punishment for the transgression.

Entering spring ball Garmon must have also taken note of a crowded depth chart headlined by Mark Weisman, who enjoyed a Rudy-like ascension to folk hero after injuries forced him to move from fullback to tailback. Jordan Canzeri, sophomore Damon Bullock and fellow freshman Barkley Hill and Michael Malloy figured to be in the mix as well as walk-on Andre Dawson. At best, Garmon would have began the spring as the No. 2 back behind Weisman or, more likely, No. 3 behind Weisman and Canzeri/Bullock, who seems to be a slightly better fit for what Ferentz and much-maligned offensive coordinator Greg Davis are looking to do in the running game.

Stepping back and viewing the situation with a wider lens this isn’t a huge shocker. Kids sometimes see the writing on the wall and look for a situation where playing time may be easier to come by or where they can see themselves being more of a factor for a longer period of time. That’s probably the case with Garmon who, in addition to not fitting in well with the type of offense Iowa runs, would have likely had to wait for injuries to at least two other backs or simply out-work and out-perform both in practice in order to see the field. Who knows what the Iowa backfield would look like in Garmon’s final two years on campus – especially given the uncertainty at that position in recent years – but that’s irrelevant now.

Where Iowa will suffer the most from Garmon’s loss won’t likely be on the field but along the recruiting trail. It’s a cut-throat business when it comes to landing top high school talent and coaches will likely jump at the opportunity to play up Iowa’s latest bad news to any running back considering an offer from the Hawkeyes. They don’t have to tell the exact truth or present a broader picture to a recruit and their parents, all they need to do is mention Iowa’s perceived issues with keeping running backs happy and sit back with tented hands while selling the virtues of their own program.

Of course, it's not like that's all opposing coaches will have to use against Iowa in whatever living room they find themselves in between now and signing day. A 4-8 record, Iowa's worst since 2000, speaks for itself to the perceived state of the program as Ferentz prepares to enter his 15th season as coach. The Hawks, quite frankly, have bigger fish to fry than the one swimming away to a new pond.

Greg Garmon has moved on. Ferentz and Iowa have likely moved on. The media will eventually move on. Fans should do the same. There’s nothing to see here other than another kid who believes there’s a better opportunity for him somewhere else. How many grown men have we seen exercise that same approach in college football over the past couple weeks?

But that’s looking at this rationally and where’s the fun in that?

  • Nice article, but I completely disagree that this is no big deal. I think you listed a few reasons that this is a big deal. Iowa cannot keep losing the best talent that it is bringing in and relying and guys like Weisman to carry the load. The Iowa coaches are morons if they think losing quick, shifty, loaded with talent RB's is ok. It's not. This "next man in" slogan and the perception it brings is why Iowa went 4-8 this year. Too much attrition of talented players.

    A back like Greg Garmon can be successful in the Big Ten and to say he can't be successful in a zone blocking scheme is a mistake on his part and whoever else says it. Zone blocking schemes are perfect for guys with good acceleration and can shoot through a hole once it is found. If we want to keep pumping out great o-lines but only average 3.5 ypc that might be ok with some of you because hey, it moves the chains sometimes, but it doesn't win you games. We need people that can get to the 2nd level because of our line then make someone miss. Weisman just runs through people and falls forward or gets slowed down enough to let someone else come tackle him. We don't have anyone that will make someone miss. Garmon could have done that.

    Also, you mentioned the recruiting implications. Guys like Jeff Jones who can make people miss can look at this and say, "Garmon was similar to me, why didn't he like the offense at Iowa?" This is just a bad situation for Iowa and to say that an un-recruited fullback, an un-recruited an undersized RB coming off a tore up knee, an injury prone RB, another RB coming off an ACL injury, and two walk-ons will make the Iowa RB situation ok is the biggest joke I've heard this season.

  • derHawkeye

    You're right, with 1 single part of this and possibly right on another part requiring further clarification. Just looked it up, Garmon did get a single carry in the 2nd game after his injury so you do have me there. When you say "in his case it's bad," that is only true if you're trying to say in *his* head it is a low number of touches (46 actually).

    It absolutely was not a waste of a RS and it would've been a mistake "feeding him the rock" more, because regardless of your simple little view on football, experience does hold value. Garmon was given some opportunities as a true freshman to get on the game field and try to prove himself to everyone that he could take the starting job over one of the older guys, what he did with those opportunities is 100% his fault for not winning the job (if that's what he thinks should've happened). It is always very useful for players to get a decent amount of experience, regardless of what you think, almost 50 touches in a season for a true freshman is a decent amount of PT that HE was in control of to increase if he performed better, more consistently. Although on the topic of "experience is good," I guess this means that you don't think putting Rudock in any of the games even in garbage time would've had ANY positive features as opposed to doing what did happen, which is have him sit on the sideline and watch Vandendoom.

    Not sure why you decided to go on another one of your little rants on keeping some 5th year seniors, but it's irrelevant in regards to Greg Garmon. For the record however, I'm somewhat indifferent to the fact we gave some scholarships to 5th year seniors, there's beneficial factors that come into play and then there's the obvious question of whether or not it's actually good for the team to have them around. Either way it's up to the *coaches* i.e. not you, to decide if the benefits are enough to keep them around another year.

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  • derHawkeye

    Iowa has only 1 player in this years class that is rated a 2-star, Matthew VandeBerg who is a grayshirt offeree. I know it's popular to sell our typical recruits short, but at least admit that we're not relying on a bunch of 2-stars to fill out our roster.

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  • HawkiBrad55

    For one Todd I told you I take no breaks sarcasm For 2 if Canzeri has grown and has his speed still and in addition to everyone else we have I think we have a great mixture of power,speed and backs with the ability to catch out of the backfield. Now this is assuming(I know it is a stretch) they actually mix up the use of what we have for backs and keep teams off guard. I hope GDGD does it but I am not holding my breath.

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  • fuisu

    Simple little view? Lol. Better than a child's view

    'It would've been a mistake feeding him the rock more'... Actually the would've been very cost beneficial. Also he would've been given the same opportunities to NOT win the spot next year if he would've RS. KF loves these walk on conversion stories so Garmon was going to have to wait til we ran Weisman into the ground like a rented mule.

    No duh I'm not the coach, I would've cut all six of those losers & sent them to your house for warm milk and a participation medal. There is no "beneficial factors" that come into play from guys on the sideline. Leaders are on the field. Period. End of Discussion.

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  • derHawkeye

    Lol, there is so much wrong with this post that it's not worth responding to past this point.

    This post was edited by derHawkeye 16 months ago

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    Sine Missione -- Never be a spectator for unfairness or stupidity, argue for arguments sake; the grave will give plenty of time for silence.

  • He was one of the kickoff returners for most of the season, and the number two running back for the majority of the season as well. He was a significant part of this year's team, so I don't think it's accurate to say he played sparingly.

  • Good point Todd...and lets not forget that Fred Russell did okay as a smallish every down "scat back"

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  • I haven't read all the posts on this particular thread, but my take is this...

    For whatever reason Garmon gives, I truly think the reason any offensive player would leave at this point, including Garmon, is they don't like the system and Greg Davis' play book.

    I don't know how Iowa will be able to recruit quality offensive players when recruits see the plays Iowa ran last season. I also don't know why anyone would want to play for Iowa with such a boring and non-productive offensive playbook. So, it makes sense if any players would want to look elsewhere.

    So, I wish Garmon well. Maybe he will find a team to play for that has a better, more productive playbook and play calling.

  • That is an exaggeration to make a point.

    The Iowa staff hangs its collective hat on being a "developmental" program, where lesser known recruits are built up into NFL prospects. We all love those stories, but the problem occurs when you throw in a few injuries here or there, some defections and some early exits for the draft. Players are then pressed onto the field that are still in that "build-up" process. The end result is the product that we saw on the field last season.

    As for our recruiting classes, no they are not generally terrible, but I think most fans would agree that we could aim higher. The current class is ranked in the mid 40's by most recruiting services, and if Hill jumps to Michigan, it will likely drop into the 50's. That doesn't factor in the inordinate amount of attrition this program experiences which in essence is the same thing as not signing them in the first place. I read a report last season that, to the best of my recollection, revealed that Iowa's attrition over the last five years was more than the COMBINED losses of Wisconsin, Minnesota and Michigan State (if I recall the schools correctly). That should make any fan stand up and take notice.

  • I am with you on much of this one...how many times this year did we see quick backs from opposing teams accelerate quickly through a hole in Iowa's defensive line and fly right past the LB's? Now, I get it...our defense was not stellar. And, some of those backs were running out of a spread (which may be a better fit for Garmon). But, Fred Russell, for example...

  • Ward and Keppy are Olinemen. Very few true freshman Olinemen play at Iowa. Bulaga and Olsen are the only 2 I can think of.

    All Im saying is that Garmin not being at Iowa for his 2nd year is not a surprise. The writing was on the wall. When he committed i put the over/under at 2.5 semesters with my friends. After the possession charge the line moved to 2 semesters. All 4 buddies said the under. I know you post in alot of threads but months ago you said Garmon has a good shot at startin next yr, I said he wont even be in IC. It just how it works.

    Todd I know you have never smoked pot. People dont typically quit smoking at the age of 19, if they quit at all its mid 20s. Garmon is from Erie, Pa. Were talking inner city here. He smokes pot like white rural Iowa kids drink beer, they dont stop at 19 or 20. I fully understand the high percentage of athletes that smoke. I stated I would rather have a team of smokers than a team of drinkers and OhioHawk threatened to cancel his membership due to blasphemy.

    Garmon is gone. He was an afterthought in the running game. Wegher played alot as a freshman, Garmon played sparingly even with a banged up backfield. I know he is a nice kid and all but it sounds like he wasnt buying in and who could blame him? Where does he end up? Im betting he has atleast 2 more colleges in his future.

  • If memory serves me right, Mike Jones, a Guard came in and played his Freshman year back in 2004 and lettered in 2005, 2006, and 2007. He was a helluva good guard. I think he also filled in at Tackle due to injuries. Again, IMSR, Jones entered the starting lineup when Gallery was dinged up his senior season.

    At any rate, I agree that the Bigs on the lines rarely play during their Freshman season because they usually lack the physical maturity to handle their peers who have an extra 3-5 years of maturity over them.

  • derHawkeye

    Yeah I see what you're saying and wasn't trying to be a prick or anything, I just think it's a little bit annoying how even Iowa fans who know better like yourself, still kind of spread the perception of a program full of 2-star guys. As for what you say about our recruiting, I 100% agree that it can and *should* be better but I think that's one of the problems brought with Kirk Ferentz.

    I think we all can agree he did a more or less fantastic job of taking the Hawkeyes from what we were in 1999 to a BCS bowl caliber team in 2002, but he has a terrible time trying to sustain the success and almost needs his teams to falter (or bottom out in other words) like in 1999, 2007, and 2012 in order to rebuild us into a great team once again. Part of that is a lack of focus and effort on the recruiting trail (think of if we could've sustained our success from 2009 to 2010 and we pulled Cyrus Kouandijo out of Maryland), but I think there's a lot of much higher rated guys that we could've kept and could have gotten in the first place, but until we actually have change, we'll never know if that's true.

    This post was edited by derHawkeye 16 months ago

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    Sine Missione -- Never be a spectator for unfairness or stupidity, argue for arguments sake; the grave will give plenty of time for silence.

  • You're more than welcome to state your opinion, but without having ever talked to Greg or anyone close to him, how could you be so sure about any of the statements in this post? Why was it a lock that he wouldn't last at Iowa, and how could you have known that on January 3 of his senior year in high school? Also, while I haven't ever smoked, I would imagine every person has their own story. I'm sure there are a lot of people that stop smoking at all different ages. And how do you know getting in trouble this summer didn't scare him straight? And how do you know how often he has used pot in the past? Also, why bring in the race factor? That doesn't seem very relevant here.

    I was the only person in the media that he told where he was going before he actually announced it last year. I'm not saying that to brag, but just to point out that I know him and his coach very well. He really didn't talk to many people in the media, so not many people anywhere know him at all. I talked to him a lot this summer after he got in trouble, and during this season as well.

    I really thought he'd have a heck of a career at Iowa, and clearly, that isn't happening now. But at least my opinion was based on getting to know him and his coach very well. I'm not sure what your opinion was based off of, but it seems like pure speculation to me.

  • I agree with both of you guys about this. I was just mentioning other true freshmen on the offensive side of the ball to point out that how much a guy plays as a true freshman isn't necessarily indicative of what kind of college career he'll have.

  • Just a foolish, ignorant post!

  • Morrison71

    Yeah no need to generalize like that.

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  • fuisu

    I don't see what's so ignorant, foolish or "racist" by KFSuperStars post.

    I think it's irrelevant but if you guys are going to agrue about who smokes more refer or drinks more beer, than I'll be presenting facts. Majority of kids that grew up in the normal/cool crowd can testify that two kegs at party in Iowa would be lucky to make it til 1AM. This is a fact. Iowa kids can drink beer.

    Anybody that's grown up in a urban environment will tell you ganji is the locals drink of choice. My friends could smoke an ounce in one night easily.

    I went to a all black under grad school in south and that's what it was called. I was one of maybe 6 six white kids that went there. I loved it. My Iowa pale friends came to visit me for spring break, they walk in with 5 dirty thirties and my roommates jaws dropped & asked if they were going drink all of that...... my friends from Iowa eyes were wide open and responded if they were going to smoke all of that to my roommates breaking down a O on the coffee table. In Iowa we drink beer like water and maybe a small group will sneak out of the party to smoke a joint. In under grad we'd party with one bottle of hard liquor & 10 blunts. Accept it cause it is what it is.

    I don't know of any kid to quit smoking refer that was smoking at 19 til the age of 23ish. I'm not saying it isn't possible but I just didn't know anyone that did.

    That said, I think Garmon quit cause he didn't want to bulk up. He didnt buy in to the Iowa system. He wanted to stay a small scat back and play in spread offense. Weed had nothing to do with it and I refuse to believe someone can get home sick living in Iowa City which is connected to Coralville which is almost connected to North Liberty which is a stones throw away from Cedar Rapids. Iowa City can be a small college town or a big city if you want it to be. Garmon left for the reasons I wrote & KF got lucky on his over/under bet on Garmon.

    Thread has offically derailed so I'm out. I wouldn't quote me cause I won't be back to defend the truths I speak of.

    This post has been edited 2 times, most recently by fuisu 16 months ago

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  • I remember visiting my cousins in Miami in HS. They are latino and went to a very racially diverse school (American HS). When visiting them I could not believe the overall view by South Florida students on pot use. Everybody smoked. When they would visit Iowa for the holidays they were blown away by the amount of beer we drank. Inner city kids smoke alot of pot. Small town midwest kids drink alot of beer. This isnt a new theory. If facts are bringing up the race card then sorry. I know we live in a PC world and even the mention of race is taboo.

    Why did I think that he would not last at Iowa?
    1) Iowa RBs rarely do.
    2) He had attendence problems in HS. Enough where he was put into a system to monitor his attendence.
    3) Hes retweeting pot related stuff. Kinda a red flag.
    4) He gets busted with weed.
    5) He took his sweet time getting to camp.
    6) He wasnt gonna start.

    I really dont care if he quit smoking after his run in with the law. I say smoke em if you got em. I dont see the motive for him to quit. He gets caught, gets one of the charges dropped, pays a fine, and doesnt miss a snap. What lesson was there to learn? How many people you hear say "I quit smoking my freshman year of college". More like "I started smoking my freshman year of college, quit when I graduated".

    I know you were high on Greg and as a recruiting guy I value your opinion alot due to you talking with these kids. He was the most talented RB on the roster yet was 3rd string and was 4th string before camp injuries per BTN camp visit? I agree he had potential with an offseason in the weight room but in the end he lasted 1 semester. Hope he finished out finals this week and got some credits.

  • Kids and adults from all backgrounds smoke pot - suburban, rural, urban, etc. Being in this industry, I've met thousands of college and pro athletes, and I really don't think there's any rhyme or reason to it. I've known a bunch of suburban and/or farm kids that smoke three times a day (literally), and still play at a very high level, and I've also known a bunch of inner city kids that never touch that stuff. Presenting your opinion as a fact in this situation, IMO, is over the line.

    As for your reasons that he wouldn't last at Iowa, I guess the track record of your first point makes it a possibility. As for your second point, I've coached kids that have held someone up at knifepoint in a robbery, and that guy now has a degree and is currently playing in the NFL. Athletes - and kids in general - across the country do much worse than skipping school, and a lot of them turn their lives around and make it. As for your third point, I saw that mentioned by several people here this summer. Again, I think that's pure speculation. One of the most popular movies of all time is Friday, and the plot is centered around pot. I've never smoked, and I think it's absolutely hilarious. How do you know Greg didn't just think those tweets were funny? As for your fifth point, I know for a fact that he was told by the Iowa coaches not to come to Iowa City until everything was completely taken care of on the legal end of things. So it wasn't his choice to take his time. And as for your sixth point, I still think he had a very good chance of winning the job if he stuck around. We'll obviously never know on that one.

    When BTN visited, that was early in camp. Greg had been on campus for two weeks max, didn't know the system, probably wasn't in as good of shape as everyone else since he wasn't in town for summer conditioning, and he was being punished for his off-field mistake. It's no surprise that, as a true freshman that got in trouble a month before enrolling, he was forced to start at the bottom of the depth chart. IMO, that doesn't say anything about his talent level or how well he was actually playing.

    Also, when I say he is/was the most talented back on the roster, that's referring to physical tools that each player possesses. As a true freshman, he's obviously not going to be anywhere near fully developed from a physical standpoint. It also takes time to adjust to the college game and to learn a brand new offense, especially when the guys in front of him were in Iowa City for spring practice and over the summer. Not sure how anything that happened this year disproves that he was the most talented back on the roster.

  • Todd Im sure you have met many people from different walks of life that use pot: pro, college, and hs. Anybody who thinks that pot use among inner city kids is the same %, or even close to small town kids has blinders on. Its a culture and Im fine with cultural differences. If its "generalizing" thats fine too. Its just a fact. One thing its not is ignorant. Stats dont lie unless its about "clutch" Vanderbergbiggrin.

    Did Garmon quit cause he smokes pot? Pry not. Does Garmon still toke? If I had to bet the farm on a % I would say 85% chance yes. And I would put Iowa's football team as a whole at 40% in the last month. Its cheaper, safer and no hangover compared to booze.

    Sorry to derail the thread. Carry on about how he wont be missed or he was the best athlete in the backfield or KF has sunk the ship or its Lester Erb's fault or AIRBHG.

  • derHawkeye

    I haven't wasted time replying to you in this thread because everything you've said is just ignorant garbage, but you are absolutely insane if you think "stats" about drug use is that different across culture/regional/whatever the f*** barriers you want to use. There's been countless studies done on this very subject, EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM saying that drug use is pretty consistent and even across pretty much whatever criteria you feel like using, rich, poor, inner city, rural, race, etc. YOU are the one with blinders on here, I know for a fact being from a small town and knowing many others from small towns, pot is very commonly used and these are area's with extremely small minority populations. It IS generalizing, it is NOT fact and it sure as f-ing hell is ignorant.

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  • Like the title of this post alludes to....who cares....next man in!

  • HawkiBrad55

    I believe Jones started as a true frosh as well

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    Gold medals aren't really made of gold. They're made of sweat, determination, and a hard-to-find alloy called guts.

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