Iowa running back depth gets thinner after De’Andre Johnson is arrested, suspended

The Iowa running game just can't seem to catch a break.

Two days after Iowa City Police cited running back De'Andre Johnson for maintaining a disorderly house (yeah, that's a real citation), he was stopped Saturday for speeding and eluding police. The second arrest pushed coach Kirk Ferentz to suspend Johnson indefinitely.

"I was very disappointed to learn of the situation involving De'Andre Johnson Saturday evening," Ferentz said in a statement. "As a result, De'Andre has been suspended immediately from all team activities."

Johnson played in four games for the Hawkeyes last season and had 18 attempts for 79 yards in a piecemeal backfield.

Iowa's top rusher Marcus Coker, who was second in the Big Ten with 1,384 rushing yards in 2011, transferred last January after a suspension; Mika'il McCall, the team's No. 2 running back, also transferred. Jordan Canzeri suffered a torn ACL in late March and will miss the 2012 season.

Johnson would have seen more playing time this season, especially after Ferentz said he planned to use every running back on the roster. The Hawkeyes have some backs, but experience is limited. Sophomore Damon Bullock is the only healthy running back on the depth chart with a carry. The Hawkeyes also will rely on incoming freshmen Greg Garmon and Barkley Hill and junior walk-on Andre Dawson.

In June, Garmon was arrested and later charged with possession of drug paraphernalia in his hometown of Erie, Pa., but Ferentz said because that was his first strike, it would not result in a suspension.

Hill could be the most effective newcomer after he rushed for 6,127 yards and 89 touchdowns at Cedar Falls High School, but Iowa won't know what they have until he starts fall camp.

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