Hey, it's another running back transfer! Can you guys believe it? The good news is that it's not the
Floridaback running back we expected to be writing a Gone Baby Gone post for this spring; De'Andre Johnson remains on the team and even made an appearance on the depth chart today. But notably absent from that depth chart was Jason White, the former walk-on who became a depth chart staple and special teams stalwart. Per Mas Casa, White will be playing football elsewhere this fall:
White wasn’t listed on Iowa’s spring roster. He will try to find playing time next fall at a smaller school.
White's name was familiar to those who followed Iowa's depth charts, but despite his prominence there, he rarely saw the field at running back. He spent most of the season listed as RB2 behind Marcus Coker on the depth chart, but he saw action infrequently. At first true freshman Mika'il McCall was the actual RB2, then it was (very briefly) Damon Bullock, and finally it was Jordan Canzeri. After Coker found himself suspended for the Insight Bowl, White ascended to the RB1 line on the depth chart -- only to see Canzeri get the actual snaps at RB1. White carried the ball more than he ever had before in his Iowa career against Oklahoma (4 carries for 20 yards; he had 4 carries for 26 yards in his career outside of that game), but it was still clear that his standing on the depth was largely meaningless.
White saw more action on the special teams coverage units, but it still wasn't much of a surprise when he walked out with the seniors at Iowa's Senior Day last fall -- he was a fourth-year junior for whom playing time seemed like a remote possibility in 2012. It was a surprise when Kirk Ferentz announced earlier this spring that White would be sticking around -- and would be on scholarship, no less. Of course by then Coker and McCall had departed, putting the running back position again in flux for Iowa. Putting him on scholarship was a curious decision, but also a pretty low-risk maneuver since he only had one year of eligibility remaining. But now it's a moot point since he's joining Coker and McCall in catching the next train out of town. Apparently he didn't fancy his odds of earning playing time over Canzeri, Bullock, Johnson, and the incoming freshmen. Or maybe he didn't want to spend another year around the Iowa program and tempt fate by angering this guy:
In any event, best of luck to White. Hopefully he can find a school where he can get a chance to flourish and have a strong showing in his final year. From an Iowa standpoint, it's certainly unfortunate to lose Yet Another Running Back, but White wasn't hugely productive (career stats: 8 carries, 46 yards, 0 TD) and wasn't like to see much playing time in 2012. Iowa will survive his absence. Farewell, Jason White; you caused us slight confusion for years -- first for sharing the same name as one of Oklahoma's recent Heisman Trophy-winning quarterbacks and later for having the same number as fellow running back (and international man of mystery) Brandon Wegher -- but we wish you well all the same.