While the Iowa Hawkeyes continue to face adversity on the running back front, with Albert Young joining Marcus Schnoor on the sidelines with a torn ACL injuries that will force both players to miss the 2004 season, another back with Hawkeye ties is having a great start to his season.
That would be Class of 2004 Iowa signee Shonn Greene. Greene did not qualify academically for Iowa this fall, and enrolled at Milford Prep Academy during the summer.
Milford coach William Chaplick told us last month that Greene intended to get his academics in order and return to Iowa in January, and nothing has changed on that front.
"He is still absolutely focused on getting back to Iowa for the second semester," Chaplick told HawkeyeNation.com on Wednesday afternoon.
"Shonn is doing great. He is a great kid, a great football player; he is doing real well in school. He is our leading rusher and he also leads us in touchdowns through three games."
Chaplick said that Greene is averaging 117 yards per game (9.2 yards per carry) through the team's first three games against college competition. Milford is 3-0 to start the year.
Chaplick coached former Hawkeye standout Fred Russell at Milford before Russell came to Iowa, and says the two compare favorably as far as production and talent are concerned.
"Iowa is definitely going to get a great one in Shonn. I have had seven D1-A running backs, and he is in the top two with Fred. I rate my running backs using Fred as the standard." Chaplick said.
"Shonn is a different type of runner than Freddie. He is bigger, but not quite as fast. But they have the same kind of heart. You would have to shoot them to get them out of the game, and when things are on the line, that is when each of them are at the top of their game."
"Shonn is definitely a North/South runner. You don't have to hide him. He is going to pound it out, but he is fast enough to make the cut. All he needs is a crack, and he has a good knack to find the hole. But if a hole his not there, he can bounce things outside."
When told about the injury situation in Iowa's backfield, Chaplick was sympathetic to Iowa's plight, but he is certainly glad that Greene is on his team this fall.
"So they really need Shonn, don't they? Well you can't have him; I need him for nine more games."
There was to have been another Class of 2005 commit playing for Milford this year; Kyle Williams.
In our August conversation with Chaplick, Williams was set to arrive the following day.
But that never happened.
"He (Kyle) made it out here for a day. He got to the New York state border, and I received a call from his father. It's a long trip out here for them and he didn't want to be that far away from home." Chaplick said.
"Having been in Iowa's camp and creating the relationships that he did, and the people out in Iowa making a big impression on him, then having that taken away from him, it was not a good time for him. I feel bad for the kid. By the time they got here, he just saw how far away that was and he just didn't want to leave home at that time. I totally understood and empathized with him."
HawkeyeNation.com tried to reach Williams on Wednesday and did just that Wednesday evening. Williams asked us to call back later, and upon doing so, Steven Williams, Kyle's father, informed us that Kyle did not want to speak with reporters.
"He is not taking any calls. At this point we really don't want to discuss anything more."
Earlier in the day Mr. Williams had told us that Kyle had thought he qualified to play at Iowa this year, and that Iowa felt the same. But a Clearinghouse issue took away one of his core classes, leaving him one shy of the limit.
A student athlete can still qualify if their GPA and test scores meet a certainly level, and Kyle fell painfully short in those areas.
Mr. Williams said the family would have more to say on this matter in October after Kyle receives the results of his upcoming ACT test, which Kyle hopes will allow him to be eligible to enroll in college for the spring semester.
When asked if that meant re-enrolling at Iowa, Mr. Williams once again reiterated that he did not want to discuss any more details.
HawkeyeNation.com will continue to monitor this story and report what we can while respecting the family's wishes to not be contacted any more at this time.