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Iowa’s backfield just got a bit more crowded in the best possible way.

Nova Home Loans Arizona Bowl - Colorado State v Nevada Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Happy 4th of July!

While the rest of the Twitter world waits for Gordon Hayward to make his NBA Free Agency Decision, Kirk Ferentz and his coaching staff managed to pick up a free agent of their own this afternoon when former Nevada running back James Butler announced his transfer to Iowa:

We’ll post more in depth on Butler later this week, but here’s what you need to know about the latest addition to the backfield at a glance: the senior-to-be is 5’9, 210 lb, out of Bloomingdale, IL, so choosing the Hawkeyes makes sense. He rushed for 1336 yards and 12 touchdowns last year for the Wolf Pack, along with 381 receiving yards and 3 touchdowns. He’s rushed for 3316 yards and 27 touchdowns in his career. For a team that doesn’t take in many transfers, this is a notable addition, and quite the signing for early July.

The biggest question now is how Butler will pair with fellow senior running back Akrum Wadley. When I saw the announcement I did what I’m sure many of you did as well: turned to Marc Morehouse’s Twitter to see how he felt about the addition to the Hawkeyes:

Good, interesting points. Here are my thoughts:

  1. Given how late in the summer it is, I’m not worried about Butler coming in and becoming the number 1 back. It will take some time for him to learn the system (not that Iowa’s run-first style will be a problem for him, but still) and barring injury, Wadley should be the featured back all season.
  2. No, the Mountain West is not the Big Ten, but Iowa will also have what many consider to be an elite offensive line, and Butler clearly has some speed and field awareness.
  3. Exactly! There’s nothing bad about this at all. At best, it’s a great addition to an already talented backfield. At worst, he doesn’t get a ton of carries and finishes his college career with lower numbers.

Let’s look at some highlights:

Like I said above, I don’t see how this is anything but good for the Hawkeyes next season. Butler is a welcome addition to Iowa City for me. Welcome, James!

Now that the 4th of July news dump is over, you may now return regularly scheduled 4th of July BBQs.