IOWA CITY — Incoming freshman running back Greg Garmon is expected to arrive on the Iowa campus next week for the start of summer classes and workouts as he begins his transition to college life.
Recently charged in his hometown of Erie, Pa., with possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia, Garmon will receive some advice from Hawkeyes upperclassmen.
It’s the same advice they gave new teammates who arrived in Iowa City earlier this month for the start of an eight-week summer term.
“We want the new guys to come in and be part of the team, to hang out with us and to just get used to what it’s like to be around the program. It’s important that they understand the expectations that go with being a part of our team,” Iowa cornerback Micah Hyde said.
Those expectations include actions on and off the field.
Linebacker Christian Kirksey said he tells freshmen to consider themselves to be visible in everything they do.
“Iowa City is pretty much a small town. People know who the football players are, and wherever you go they’re watching. It’s all out there, and you have to keep that in mind,” said Kirksey, a St. Louis native. “For some of us from big cities, that’s different, but it’s reality.”
Kirksey said Garmon, who faces a July 18 preliminary hearing in Pennsylvania on the misdemeanor charges he faces, likely will face some disciplinary action when he arrives in Iowa City.
“I hope he comes in, deals with it and is ready to get to work,” Kirksey said. “He’s a young player who made a mistake. He isn’t the first, won’t be the last. Deal with it and get ready to play some football, that’s what I would tell him.”
Quarterback James Vandenberg echoed those thoughts.
“I’m sure there will be some discussions when he gets here, then some punishment. The main thing is that he learns from the situation and doesn’t repeat the mistake,” Vandenberg said.
Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz has made no public comment regarding Garmon’s situation, but in the spring he indicated he expected the Hawkeyes’ two incoming freshmen running backs, Garmon and Barkley Hill of Cedar Falls, Iowa, to arrive at camp in August ready to compete for playing time.
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While Garmon is expected to arrive for a six-week summer term this weekend, Hill arrived two weeks ago.
Hyde said members of the Hawkeyes’ leadership group — representatives of players from each class selected by their peers — talked recently about the need to help Iowa’s freshmen adjust to life as a collegiate athlete.
“We need to be there for them. We’ve been where they are right now, and it’s different, you’re away from home, you have plenty of time and we need to hang together and become a team,” Hyde said. “Old guys, new guys, we’re working toward the same thing and we need to hang together and develop the bond it takes to be successful as a team.”
The leadership group recently performed community service work together in Cedar Rapids, hauling rock to help form a path, and Hyde said the experience provided even a senior like himself a chance to get to know his teammates.
“I found myself working with some offensive line guys who have been around, but we’ve never been part of the same lifting group, that sort of thing,” Hyde said. “I learned a lot about them, their backgrounds, what they’re about, and that’s a good thing. We need more of that. I think it will bring us closer together.”
Receiver Kevonte Martin-Manley views that as a critical element to what Iowa hopes to accomplish this season.
“We need to work as a team, and it’s important that the freshmen understand that they are part of a team right away,” the sophomore said. “We’re doing what we can to get everybody on the same page right away. That’s where it has to start and that’s where it is starting for us.”