Well, as you may have heard late Sunday night or Monday morning, Eno Benjamin—the crown jewel of Iowa’s recruiting class for 2017—de-committed from the program.
He wasn’t the first, and he won’t be the last.
We can argue the merits of the rule Iowa coaches instill onto recruits by not allowing them to officially visit other schools after committing to be a Hawkeye, (I think it’s foolish to not allow a 17 year-old to take a free weekend to Tempe, but that’s just me!) but that’s not what this post is about.
Here we’re going to revisit all the guys who were committed to Iowa but then left for greener pastures before ever stepping foot on campus for one reason or another.
As you can probably tell, unhappiness is a theme here at the new BHGP.
Anyway, let’s get this over with. I’d say let’s start with the biggest one, but looking at this list it’s hard to choose just one. That’s how bad and dumb this is.
*This list is in no way exhaustive, and just includes the guys of recent and off the top of my head*
Melvin Gordon, Wisconsin
This guy is probably the first one who springs to mind. There’s a lot of rumors swirling around as to why Gordon flipped his commitment to Wisconsin, but we won’t address any of those here because they’re stupid.
Gordon won the Doak Walker and was a unanimous all-American during his time in Madison, because of course he was. He has the Big Ten record for most rushing yards in a season (2,587) and averaged over 206 yards a game in 2014. He has 10 total touchdowns for the San Diego Chargers this year.
And let’s not forgot that Gordon torched Iowa. In 2014, he had 200 yards on the ground and 2 touchdowns and another 64 yards receiving when the Badgers left Kinnick with a 26-24 win. Wanna relive that game? Of course you do.
Ross Pierschbacher, Alabama
This one should especially hurt for a couple reasons. 1. He’s an Iowa guy hailing from Cedar Falls, and 2. Iowa could sure as shit use him on the offensive line this year.
Pierschbacher was the starting left guard as a redshirt freshman for the Crimson Tide last year, and is still starting for an Alabama squad that is averaging over 6 yards a carry. That’s ... that’s pretty good. It pains me to think about how different this offense would look with an absolute stalwart helping lead the way for LeShun Daniels and Akrum Wadley, so we’re not going to dwell on it anymore.
Karan Higdon, Michigan
This one might be a little easier to swallow seeing as how Iowa currently has the luxury of the aforementioned Daniels and Wadley in its backfield, but still. Higdon has looked damn good for the Maize and Blue this year, and is part of the three-headed rushing attack for the Wolverines.
And Higdon might just be the best running back on the Michigan roster. He has just 43 carries on the year, but is averaging over 8 yards a pop and has 6 touchdowns to boot. And guess what, he plays Iowa this year, and has the chance to carve up his former team in true Gordon fashion. Can’t wait!
Delano Hill, Michigan
Another guy to go to Michigan instead of Iowa, Hill’s de-commitment was a little more understandable because he’s from Detroit. Now a senior and starting safety for the Wolverines, Hill is putting up solid numbers when opposing teams actually get to the Michigan defensive backfield.
This year at Iowa, Hill would almost certainly be providing relief for some safeties that ... need some help. Luckily, Iowa fans get to keep an eye on Higdon and Hill when the Wolverines come to Kinnick this year and wonder what could be.
Cyrus Kouandjio, Alabama
Alright, so Kouandjio was never officially committed to Iowa, but he apparently told his friends and family he was going to the Hawkeyes. And then Rhabogate happened.
Kouandjio is now on the Buffalo Bills, where he has a handful of starts. He was also first team all-SEC in 2013. I’m sure Iowa could have found a spot for him on its line during that time.
And the rest
Frank Darby also comes to mind, but he hasn’t done anything for Arizona State yet. Kyle "Bonecrusher" Williams also famously de-committed from Iowa, but some reports say Iowa pulled its offer for academic reasons. Williams is currently serving a 37-year jail sentence for assault, so maybe his not going to Iowa was for the best.