Levi Duwa's commitment to Iowa wasn't the only recruiting news from this past weekend -- 2016 commit Frank Darby announced that he has re-opened his commitment and won't be attending Iowa next fall. Darby was the lone Iowa commit from the Class of 2016 who didn't sign a National Letter of Intent on National Signing Day back in February; he didn't do so because he hadn't yet achieved a high enough SAT score to be eligible at Iowa. Apparently he's since gotten the score he needed, but he still won't be plying his trade in Iowa City next year. Darby's high school coach, Robert Hampton, clarified the situation in an interview with NJ.com:
"He qualified and got his SAT score where it needed to be, but the Iowa coaches wanted him to attend a prep school for a semester for some academic seasoning," Hampton said. "Frank didn't want that, though. He wants to play right away and he felt that after watching the Iowa spring game, that he could help the team out this season.
"It was a great meeting with Iowa. I want to make that clear. They treated him like family. The coaches were great. We had a great time. They just wanted him to go to prep school first. We agreed to disagree. They still want him bad and told us that if we'd reconsider, they'd still love to have him."
Iowa hasn't typically encouraged many recruits to attend prep school in the past, so it does make you wonder if they had significant concerns about his academics. Regardless, Darby won't be taking his talents to Iowa City this fall. That said, Iowa fans could wind up seeing him anyway -- per NJ.com, Darby is scheduled to make an official visit to Rutgers this week. Best of luck to Darby in his college future, wherever that may be.
Meanwhile, wide receiver remains a major issue of need for Iowa, both now and in the future. With Darby's departure, Iowa is bringing in just one wide receiver in their 2016 class (Devonte Young), although Emmanuel Rugamba could potentially play WR at Iowa (though he's been leaning cornerback, which is another area of need for Iowa) and they presently have no receivers in their 2017 class.
There are still a lot of young receivers floating around Iowa -- all three Class of 2015 recruits (Jerminic Smith, Adrian Falconer, and Emmanuel Ogwo) are still here, as are converted high school quarterbacks Jay Scheel and Ryan Boyle (assuming the latter sticks at wide receiver). All five of those players will be sophomores or younger in 2016. Boyle flashed some ability in the spring scrimmage, Scheel reportedly impressed in other practices this spring, and Smith had a breakout performance against Illinois last year (though he's also struggled with drops since then). Falconer and Ogwo both have tremendous speed. There's certainly talent to be found in this group of young wide receivers. Hopefully at least a few of them emerge as consistent, explosive options in the Iowa passing game in the next few years.