Garmon, 19, was reportedly pulled over last Friday by Erie police for an expired registration, and subsequently found to have a small amount of marijuana inside the car. His passenger: Fellow Erie prep star Delton Williams, 18, a three-star linebacker prospect in the class of 2013 who boasts scholarship offers from more than a dozen FBS schools, including most of the Big Ten. Both were charged with simple possession of marijuana and paraphernalia. An Iowa spokesman told the Des Moines Register that the school had no immediate comment.
Prior to the arrest, Garmon – a cancer survivor ranked by MaxPreps as the No. 54 overall recruit in the 2012 class – was generally considered the favorite to win the Hawkeyes' starting tailback job, if only by default following an all-too-familiar wave of attrition. Since roughly 2004, when no fewer than five backs were stricken with injuries over the course of the season, Iowa fans have endured so many injuries, arrests and early exits at the position that a certain segment of the fan base has begun routinely chalking up negative headlines to a malevolent deity, "Angry Iowa Running Back-Hating God."
The last three years have been especially brutal. In 2009, projected starter Jewel Hampton was struck down before the season with a torn ACL; by the end of 2010, the Hawkeyes had lost Hampton for good to a second ACL injury, sent starter Adam Robinson packing following a drug charge and dismissed promising backup Brandon Wegher to deal with a personal issue. The leading rusher in 2011, Marcus Coker, was suspended and subsequently left the team last December following an investigation into an alleged sexual assault. (He was never charged.) Before his departure, Coker was second in the Big Ten with 1,384 yards for the season, on a league-best 23.3 carries per game. Going into the Insight Bowl, no other Iowa running back had 23 carries for the entire year.
Naturally, the leading rusher in the bowl game, Jordan Canzeri, tore his ACL in the spring and is expected to sit out the entire 2012 season. The other returning backs who have seen the field (De'Andre Johnson and Damon Johnson) have just 28 career carries between them, all in garbage time. In fact, after Garmon, the frontrunner for the No. 1 job in the fall may be another incoming freshman, three-star signee Barkley Hill. If so, he might want to consider a good insurance policy before he accepts.