Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz announced on Wednesday that running back De’Andre Johnson has been dismissed from the football program.
“I am disappointed that things didn’t work out better for De’Andre,” said Ferentz. “We wish him all the best moving forward.”
Per the release, Johnson played in four games in 2011, rushing 18 times for 79 yards. So in a normal world, it’s not a huge loss for the program. But as you know, faithful Hawkeye reader, the running back position at Iowa has been anything but a normal world for the past three years.
Here is the list of running backs who left the program with eligibility remaining since the END of the 2009 season, for one reason or another:
In fact, all of these players have left the program since February 10th, 2010. That’s seven backs in two years, 5 months and 22 days if you are keeping score at home.
Had things gone normally, you know, like they do at most every other position, Wegher, Hampton and Robinson would be seniors, THIS YEAR. Coker would be a junior and McCall a sophomore. AIRBHG! That would be like 5,000 yards and a gazllion returning touchdowns.
Instead, Iowa has Damon Bullock listed as the #1 back, he of the 10 carries for 20 yards in his career. He’ll be battling true freshmen Greg Garmon and Barkley Hill for minutes and all three will most certainly see plenty of carries this year. Brad Rogers will get more carries than an Iowa fullback has seen in years and perhaps Andre Dawson will figure into the mix, too; he rushed 301 times for 2,212 yards and 28 touchdowns as a senior in Cedar Rapids.
If Penn State running back Akeel Lynch is interested in playing time AND playing in a few bowl games during his career, Iowa City might be a good destination….
Matt Gatens will continue his basketball career, agreeing to a one-year deal with UCAM-Murcia. According to Gatens, the league he will be playing in is the best in Europe.
This is good for Gatens on a couple of fronts. One, he gets to keep doing what he loves to do as well as get paid to do it. That’s never a bad thing and I can speak from experience. Not on the pro-basketball front, but earning a living at what you love.
Second, he’ll get to test his mettle in arguably the best proving grounds for an NBA career. Yes, some could say the NBADL is pushing the Top Euro-League in that regard and NBA teams do have close and official ties with D-League franchises. However, the NBA is global and they have scouting assets in place in Europe and Gatens will have every chance to prove himself against very good competition.
I wish him good luck and I don’t think any of us will forget the February thrills he and his teammates provided this year. I challenge you to watch this video without smiling.