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Hawkeyes lose OL Ferguson to torn ACL, move Clayberg to safety

Mark Emmert
memmert@gannett.com

IOWA CITY, Ia. — Dalton Ferguson, a second-string offensive tackle on the Iowa football team, suffered a torn ACL and underwent surgery Monday.

The setback will likely cost the junior the 2017 season. Ferguson, a 6-foot-4, 312-pound native of Solon, has already used his redshirt season.

The Hawkeyes have an experienced group of starters on the offensive line — all of them upperclassmen. But among the second unit during spring practices, only Lucas LeGrand has previously started a college game.

Iowa junior offensive lineman Dalton Ferguson, pictured at left during last spring's workouts, suffered a torn ACL this spring and has had surgery. He was listed as the team's second-string right tackle.

Redshirt freshman Alaric Jackson is the backup at left tackle.

Iowa lost starting safety Brandon Snyder to an ACL tear last week. The junior also had surgery and is doubtful for the 2017 season.

On Wednesday, Hawkeyes coach Kirk Ferentz told reporters on a teleconference that the team has moved freshman Noah Clayberg from running back to safety in order to help with depth at that position. The Pella native has practiced once at safety, Ferentz said.

“The good news is, we had a good feel about Noah when we recruited him. I really kind of thought that was where he would end up playing, but his preference was to start out at running back,” Ferentz said.

Iowa grayshirt and Pella native Noah Clayberg works out with former Hawkeye and current Cedar Rapids Titans head coach Marvin McNutt at the Hawkeye Tennis and Recreation Center on Thursday, Oct. 20, 2016.

Clayberg missed a couple of workouts last week with an injury, Ferentz said, but added he liked what he saw from the freshman this week.

“He just acts like a football player. He carries himself really well, did a great job in the out-of-season program and was running the ball, I think, pretty well. I’m not sure he couldn’t be a pretty good running back.” Ferentz said. “We definitely have a need right now, with Brandon being out, so we talked to him about transitioning over there. He was very receptive to it — has got a great attitude. And, I think, being a high school quarterback, that helps also — just having some command and being able to make calls, checks — those types of things. It’s only one practice, but I think he’s got a good future there.”

Ferentz held out the possibility that Snyder can make it back onto the field in the fall. He said the timing of the injury was the one bright spot.

“We also had a little time to make an adjustment and, hopefully, Noah can give us some competitive depth back there,” Ferentz said.