Hampton out for year - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Hampton out for year

IOWA CITY (KWWL)   Questions had been swiriling this offseason regarding the status of starting runningback Jewel Hampton.

Tuesday head coach Kirk Ferentz confirmed the real bad news for Hawkeye fans.  Hampton will miss the entire season after having to undergo surgery on his knee.

"Guys work really hard to play. That's what they're focused on having an opportunity to play and I know he was really looking forward to this year, but we're just going to have to deal with it," said Ferentz.

Hampton was expected to shoulder most of the rushing load after 2008 Doak Walker award winner Shonn Green left for the NFL.

Now the Hawks will look to an unexperienced group to fill the void.  Led by Paki O'Meara, who had all of 21 carries last fall.

"It's really unfortunate, he's a good friend of mine, it's really unfortunate that something like that had to happen to him but that's absolutely an opportunity for me to do what I came here to do," said O'Meara.

"I don't think we'll miss a beat in the running game, I mean you've got Paki back, he's an experienced guy, he's a veteran, he's been here awhile, he knows what do do, I think it'll be him leading," said quarterback Ricky Stanzi.

"Paki's played well for a couple years now. We had our last big full scrimmage a week ago Friday night and I thought that was his best performance as a Hawkeye so we were happy to see that, that doesn't count obviously, but the point there is he's improved his game," said Ferentz.

Redshirt freshamn Adam Robinson has quietly emerged as number two on the depth chart.  Jeff Brinson and true freshman Brandon Wegher will also look to factor into the mix.

"We have a pretty good depth on the running back, we're all learning, we all know what we need to do and each of the running back brings a special spark to the team," said Robinson.

"I don't know if it's going to be a two-man, three-man, or four-man, but we'll do whatever it takes to be effective out there," said Ferentz.

It may take some time, but the Hawks hoping to find their next crowned jewell in the backfield.

Online Reporter:  Jason Epner

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