Well, one wide receiver commits to the Hawkeyes for the 2017 season, and shortly after, we’ve now received word that one that was currently on scholarship will not be returning.
The University of Iowa has announced that Jonathan Parker, the quick wide receiver from St. Louis, MO, will not be returning to the program after graduating this December, using the graduate transfer rule to play somewhere else for one season. Where he will end up has yet to be determined, or at least announced, but this doesn’t bode very well for Iowa’s depth at the skill positions in 2017.
Here's the Jonathan Parker release. Graduate transfer route. pic.twitter.com/bTllNCyHnp— marcmorehouse (@marcmorehouse) January 24, 2017
Overall, Parker’s football career in the black and gold wasn’t exactly all that memorable. After starting out as a running back as a freshman, he was moved out to wide receiver following the 2014 season with very little results. As a freshman, he rushed 16 times for 141 yards and a touchdown, while hauling in three catches for 42 yards. He also achieved fairly moderate success as a kick returner during his freshman campaign, averaging just over 22 yards per return over the course of 24 returns. After being moved to wide receiver, Parker rarely saw any action in 2015, recording a mere two receptions and one kick return. A knee injury sidelined him for large stretches of 2016, where he saw action in one game but did not record any stats.
Unfortunately, Parker will be largely remembered by the Hawkeye faithful for his kickoff return blunder in the 2015 HawkSlayer Bowl, where he pitched the ball forwards while falling out of bounds inside the five-yard line. For someone with such immense speed and talent, that’s a rough way to be remembered.
As it stands right now, Iowa now will be relying largely on Matt VandeBerg, Jerminic Smith, Ronald Nash, and Adrian Falconer, not to mention any incoming recruits. While Parker didn’t figure to be integrated fully into Iowa’s offense, it doesn’t help matters that they’re short another body at a skill position after Derrick Mitchell, Jr. and Jay Scheel chose to depart the program already this offseason. We were hopeful that Brian Ferentz would find a way to involve him in the offense, but his lack of playing time thus far in an Iowa uniform probably led to his decision to go elsewhere, and it’s hard to blame him for wanting to see the field more often.
Best of luck to Jonathan wherever he decides to end up, and hopefully a fresh start is what he needs to jumpstart his career.