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Home / 3 and Out: Canzeri getting healthy
1. Checking in on Canzeri
... After where junior running back Jordan Canzeri ended last season, you wondered what he'd do with some new life and successful video on his resume. Well, he's been sort of caught in health limbo. He tweaked a knee in camp. He injured a heel making a leaping jump-cut on a kick return against Ball State.
The 5-9, 192-pounder said this week his health, considering that this is game 7, is relatively fine.
'I'm sure no one right now is 100 percent,' said Canzeri, who's rushed for 184 yards on 46 carries (4.0 yards per carry) this season. 'There are little, small injuries that kind of took away from my game play, but luckily, the recovery has sped a long pretty well and I feel like I'm in a pretty good spot. I'm not where I want to be, but things look good so far. Practice will tell.'
One thing you might've noticed about Canzeri's game this year is a hop. He's literally jumped through some holes. He did it twice last week against Indiana. Iowa coaches are good with it and it's working for him, but he knows he'd better be careful and time it well.
'Luckily, I'm small enough to squeeze through things like that,' said Canzeri, who last year averaged 6.50 yards on 74 carries. 'IT works out, but it's not like I'm going to look to jump everywhere. That's how injuries are going to happen, big hits and stuff like that.'
2. Finding out about Ott
... One thing about junior DE Drew Ott that you have to keep in mind is his roots. Sure, standing before you now is a 6-4, 270-pound defensive end who's fully grown and making plays all over the place. He's fourth in the Big Ten with 4.5 sacks and fifth in the league with 7.5 tackles for loss. He probably won't punch his way past Michigan State's Shilique Calhoun and Nebraska's Randy Gregory for top-tier Big Ten honors, but he's certainly knocking on the door.
This is Ott now. Back in when Iowa recruited him in 2012, he was a raw, raw, rawest of the raw recruit. He played eight-man football for Giltner (Neb.) High School, where he played tight end, offensive line, quarterback, linebacker and defensive end.
Iowa's first experience with Ott came during summer camp 2012. Iowa coaches projected Ott as a defensive end and asked him to give it a try. It was an education.
'He got slaughtered in our camp,' Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz said. 'He was trying. He had never played with his hand on the ground.'
Ott said he weighed about 215 pounds and really didn't know what to expect.
'I remember getting knocked back a couple of yards,' Ott said. 'I don't think it turned out too well for me. It was my first double team. There were great athletes here, 300 pounds or something. I was like 215. It didn't work out too well for me.'
But the important part, and the part that probably landed Ott a scholarship and has him among the B1G's disruption leaders, was, yes, he had his hat handed to him, but he got back up.
'I had to do something,' he said.
3. It won't happen at Iowa, but Weisman will be a fullback
... Senior running back Mark Weisman has always been a fullback playing running back. The 'fullback' part of that equation has really shined through in short-yardage situations this season. The 6-0, 240-pounder is 6 of 6 in converting fourth-and-short yardage. Iowa has used Weisman (349 yards on 103 carries with eight TDs) in all kinds of short-yardage situations, and that probably has something to do with his 3.39 yards a carry.
'I'm not big on stats, but I did peek at his stats yesterday,' Ferentz said. 'I believe it was just under 4 [yards] a carry, and the thought entered my mind, I wonder how many those were nitty-gritty, fourth- and first-and-goal on the 1, that type of stuff. He does a lot of the hard dirty work for us, and really does a good job there. So, you probably should get some bonus points for that. Those don't show up in the stat column too often.'
This led to conversation on Weisman's football future, which will likely be fullback in the NFL.
'Oh, yeah. I think he'll end up on somebody's team. People dig fullbacks in the NFL,' Ferentz said.
Weisman sees this and has no delusions. He sees a career fullback like the Green Bay Packers John Kuhn and he could see himself doing that.
'Even though I'm a Bears fan, I root for Kuhn whenever he gets the ball,' said Weisman, whose 24 career TDs are most for anyone in Ferentz's 15-plus seasons at Iowa. 'I hope he scores 10 touchdowns a game. It's great to see that the fullback is alive and well in the NFL and that teams are still using them.'
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