The next domino falls: Jewel Hampton is leaving, per his Facebook page (if it's good enough for Morehouse and Hlas, it's good enough for us). Hampton entered Iowa has an unheralded halfback from Indianapolis, but quickly assumed the spot behind Shonn Greene and racked up 463 yards rushing and another 530 in kickoff returns. He was the de facto starter entering 2009, but blew out his ACL in late July and missed the year; in his absence, Adam Robinson and Brandon Wegher gained ground, giving Iowa three potential sophomore starting halfbacks. Hampton was cited over the offseason after a downtown bar fight, earning him a one-game suspension and losing him the starting position against Iowa State. The next week in the desert, after sharing carries with Robinson, Hampton's other ACL exploded and ended a second consecutive season prematurely.
Again, the rumors surrounding his decision are just that, and we won't speculate as to his reasons. We feel like he's giving up even more than Wegher, though. Where Wegher's departure was the inevitable byproduct of whatever tripped in his head or his life, Hampton was walking a road previously walked by halfbacks like Albert Young. There was something to fix there, and while it would be difficult work getting another knee back to 100% just for the chance to play two more years with Robinson and Coker, it was at least doable and worthwhile if done right. It appears to be all for naught, as it is.