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Tailback Canzeri tears ACL, will redshirt 2012 season

[ 4 ] March 29, 2012 |

Lightning struck the Iowa tailback position.

Again.

A day after coaches and players raved about the potential of Jordan Canzeri, his father, Brian, told HawkeyeInsider.com Thursday his son suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament.

Canzeri’s father also told HawkeyeInsider.com that his son plans to redshirt during the 2012 season.

Iowa sports information director Steve Roe said there was no immediate comment from coach Kirk Ferentz.

Canzeri underwent an MRI Thursday.

Neither Jordan nor Brian Canzeri could be reached for comment by The Register.

Canzeri was listed as the No. 1 running back on a spring tailback depth chart thin in experience.

With Canzeri, Damon Bullock and De’Andre Johnson, the Hawkeyes had backs that combined for 213 yards on 59 carries last season while backing up 1,384-yard rusher Marcus Coker.

Without Canzeri, that drops to 29 carries and 99 yards.

Canzeri, whose 114 yards on 31 attempts last season included 22 rushes for 58 yards in the Insight Bowl defeat against Oklahoma, inherited the top rung on the depth chart after pre-senior departures of Coker and Mika’il McCall.

“I think what (Canzeri) demonstrated in that bowl game is durability,” running backs coach Lester Erb said Wednesday.

“He’s a guy who had some hamstring issues (during the season), so we didn’t get a chance to see as much of him as we would have liked.”

Nonetheless, Canzeri impressed teammates.

“He’s not Shonn Greene or Coker,” quarterback James Vandenberg said Wednesday when comparing the 180-pound Canzeri to bigger backs.

“You can tell that as soon as you shake his hand, but from Day One when he stepped in here, we realized he was one of those freshmen who could do everything.”

Sophomore Damon Bullock inherits the No. 1 running back spot, but he rushed for just 20 yards on 10 carries while splitting time at receiver last season.

“Damon started off as a tailback, moved to wide receiver, back to running back, and then back to receiver for about a week before the Oklahoma game,” Erb said of the 6-foot, 195-pounder.

“He has great vision, real good balance, can catch the ball out of the backfield, and is a little bit faster than people give him credit for.

“He’s more of a slasher; he’s not going to be a true, downhill punishing runner, but he does have some toughness.”

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Category: Iowa Hawkeyes Football

About Randy Peterson: Randy Peterson covers college football, college basketball and the Iowa Cubs for the Des Moines Register. Randy can be reached at randypeterson@dmreg.com or on Twitter via @RandyPete View author profile.

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