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Why was Jordan Canzeri a near non-factor early this season? There’s a two-word answer

[ 0 ] December 28, 2013 |

TAMPA, Fla. – Ball security, not the lingering effects of a knee injury, is why Jordan Canzeri spent the first part of the football season playing in the shadows of Iowa’s other running backs.

“Jordan came back off the knee injury last year, and we thought he was healthy in the spring,” Iowa offensive coordinator Greg Davis said after practice Saturday. “We probably should have gotten him in there a little earlier because he’s a very dependable back. We had some concerns with ball security early in the season. We feel better about that now.”

Canzeri, a sophomore from Troy, N.Y., had major knee surgery after getting injured in spring ball in 2012. He redshirted last season, and returned to the field for spring ball this year.

He’s Iowa’s No. 3 rusher with 447 yards in just 67 carries. He logged 332 of those yards in the final four games, including 165 and a touchdown in a 38-14 victory at Purdue. Canzeri did lose a fumble in the fourth game of the season against Western Michigan.

More after video

Canzeri has the season’s longest run from scrimmage, 43 yards, in the second half against Wisconsin. He also had a key 37-yard run to the Nebraska 2 that led to a clinching fourth-quarter touchdown in a 38-17 victory in the season’s final regular-season game. He also has the season’s longest touchdown run, a 16-yarder against Western Michigan.

“We’re really pleased with what he has done.” Davis said.

Iowa running back Jordan Canzeri takes a carry in a drill during practice on Saturday. He’s Iowa’s No. 3 rusher with 447 yards in just 67 carries. He logged 332 of those yards in the final four games, including 165 and a touchdown in a 38-14 victory at Purdue. (Bryon Houlgrave/The Register)

Iowa running back Jordan Canzeri takes a carry in a drill during practice on Saturday. He’s Iowa’s No. 3 rusher with 447 yards in just 67 carries. He logged 332 of those yards in the final four games, including 165 and a touchdown in a 38-14 victory at Purdue. (Bryon Houlgrave/The Register)

A program that was woefully thin at running back in recent seasons now has a nice little stockpile at that position.

Leading rusher Mark Weisman and Canzeri will be back next season. So will the team’s No. 2 rusher, Damon Bullock (467 yards), and true freshman LeShun Daniels (142 yards), who along with redshirt freshmen Akrum Wadley and Jonathan Parker, has impressed coaches during bowl-game practices.

“Jordan may have gotten a few of Damon’s carries, but Jordan was ready to have a few of Damon’s carries,” Davis said. “And that’s no reflection on Damon at all. We’re trying to get guys on the field who are fresh and you know you can trust.”

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Category: Iowa Hawkeyes Football

About Rick Brown: Rick Brown covers men's basketball for The Des Moines Register and Hawk Central. He's married and the father of two. He also covers golf for the Register. View author profile.

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