If running back depth isn't Iowa's biggest concern entering the season, it has to be pretty high on the list.
Thursday's news doesn't help matters.
Rivals.com reports that running back recruit Rodney Coe is headed to Iowa Western Community College, where he hopes to improve his grades so he can join the Hawkeyes at some point in the future. Iowa Western coach Scott Strohmeier confirmed Coe will be joining his squad.
"I think initially he was a little shocked and disappointed, but he's come to realize now he's got a second chance," Strohmeier said. "He's still got to prove some things in the classroom when he gets to the junior college ranks, but he has a chance to start over now and get back to Iowa, which he seems pretty excited about."
The 6-foot-3, 230-pound Coe is a U.S. Army All-America selection and one of Iowa's top-rated recruits in the 2011 class. ESPN Recruiting rated Coe as the nation's No. 37 athlete.
The good news is Iowa's class includes three other running backs (Mika'il McCall, Jordan Canzeri and Damon Bullock). The Hawkeyes certainly would benefit if one or more emerged this season.
Marcus Coker very well could be the real deal, but most teams need two to three backs to win in the Big Ten. Iowa has done a great job of developing young backs in recent years, as players like Coker, Adam Robinson, Jewel Hampton and Brandon Wegher all made contributions early in their careers. And if things had worked out for Robinson, Hampton and Wegher, Iowa wouldn't be in this position.
Coe could have been the next young back to contribute, but Iowa fans must wait for his arrival.
As Black Heart Gold Pants points out, Iowa has had several juco success stories, former Doak Walker Award winner Shonn Greene among them. The Hawkeyes have to hope Coe follows the trend.