It appears sophomore running back Brandon Wegher will not play this season.
Wegher, who has been missing from practice for three weeks for personal reasons, is attending classes, but Iowa Coach Kirk Ferentz said Tuesday that the team is moving forward. Ferentz also said he has not talked to Wegher in a week.
If Wegher, who set a school record with 8 rushing touchdowns last season, is red-shirted, he still would have three seasons of eligibility. That also would leave Adam Robinson and Jewel Hampton, who missed the 2009 season with a knee injury, as the top two running backs going into this season.
Ferentz, speaking at his weekly news conference, said wide receiver Derrell Johnson-Koulianos has missed some practice time.
Despite Wegher’s absence, Ferentz said freshman running back De’Andre Johnson out of Miami will be red-shirted.
Ferentz said he’s hopeful injured safety Shaun Prater will be able to play Saturday, and that a couple of offensive linemen are nicked up. Freshman running back Marcus Coker is rehabbing and will be out 2 weeks.
Several true freshmen could see action: kicker Michael Meyer, who will handle kickoffs, and linebacker James Morris of Solon, linebacker Christian Kirksey and tight end C.J. Fiedorowicz.
The Hawkeyes open the season Saturday at home against Eastern Illinois.
Transcript from Ferentz press conference