Two players from Iowa Football's recruiting class of 2015 are leaving the program. Early Tuesday, linebacker Justin Jinning posted on Instagram that he was leaving Iowa. Later in the day, running back Eric Graham also surfaced on the photo sharing social media platform. Those posts were later confirmed by actual journalists.
Iowa LB Justin Jinning posted on Instagram that he is leaving the program to pursue other interests https://t.co/gKLd4HZHHQ— Blair Sanderson (@BlairRIVALS) June 7, 2016
Another Iowa running back gone, depth chart won't hurt but a true freshmen for sure gets playing time now— Shae Scott (@Shae_Scott) June 7, 2016
With Eric Graham’s departure, I believe Iowa is now at 82 schollies for 2016. My three for free school would be Snyder, Kluver, Recinos.— marcmorehouse (@marcmorehouse) June 8, 2016
Departures this time of year are not uncommon. The spring semester just ended and Iowa players reported for workouts this week.
Jinning was a two-star prospect from The Colony Texas that picked Iowa over New Mexico State. He was working with the third team at outside linebacker during spring camp, and wasn't a threat to push the current lineup. Furthermore, Iowa has a large group of linebackers in the 2016 recruiting class that is reporting on campus in a week. Perhaps the writing was on the wall in December: He was one of only a handful that didn't make the Rose Bowl trip (the departed Terrance Harris was another).
Meanwhile, AIRBHG has made his triumphant return. Eric Graham's departure might surprise some: Graham was pushing Marcel Joly for the fourth running back spot, but newcomers Toks Akrinbrade and Toren Young join that battle next week. Iowa went four deep at the position last season and Graham was a possible contributor. He was plucked from near-complete obscurity on Signing Day last year after Karan Higdon flipped from Iowa to Michigan at the last second. Iowa found Graham in Prattville, Alabama, the only place in Alabama where nobody else bothered to look for football players. He flashed some potential to be a good running back someday, but it won't be at Iowa.
The Hawks now has some open scholarships and options to fill them. Starting free safety Brandon Snyder is a no-brainer. There could also be a possible scholarship for a specialist, Dalton Ferguson, Sam Brincks or a fullback like Drake Kulick. It's also likely that greyshirt Noah Clayberg joins the team in August and gets a full ride as part of the 2016 class instead of waiting until January.