Just 15 minutes after getting official word that Brady Ellingson is leaving the Iowa basketball program for a new school, the news dropped that forward Ahmad Wagner will also leave the hoops program, in order to pursue opportunities on the football field.
Thankful for all of the wonderful experiences I had here! The relationships I built will last a lifetime pic.twitter.com/JPRp8sSjFP— Ahmad Wagner (@Ahmad_Wagner) March 20, 2018
Wagner had a tough time finding an identity on the basketball court. He wasn’t as athletic as other bigs and had trouble creating his own shot. He started 25 games in three seasons as a Hawkeye, and this past season saw the fewest minutes of his Iowa career. With Luka Garza looking like he’s the real deal and Joe Wieskamp coming in next year (nothing to say for Jack Nunge, Cordell Pemsl, Ryan Kriener and Tyler Cook) it was always going to be tough for Wagner to find minutes on this team.
Wagner, from a release:
“My plan now is to train and get my body into football shape so I can be ready for when I decide where I will finish my athletic and academic goals. Thank-you Hawkeye nation for your support and welcoming me when I first stepped onto campus.”
Wagner played just one year of football in high school, but lit it up real good on the gridiron. As a senior at Wayne High School in Yellow Springs, Ohio, Wagner had 58 receptions for 1,028 yards and 17 touchdowns as a receiver, leading his team to the state title game.
Wagner has two years of eligibility left ... if he stays at Iowa. If he were to transfer to another team, he would have to sit out a year per NCAA rules. There’s no word where he’s looking to put on the pads, but Iowa isn’t necessarily ruled out. He would also have two years of eligibility if he were to transfer to an FCS program (sup, Youngstown State?).
This frees up another scholarship for an Iowa basketball team that has a lot of holes to fill in its roster. It’s also worth noting that Isaiah Moss is the lone recruit left on the roster from the class of 2015, which included Christian Williams, Dale Jones, Brandon Hutton, Andrew Fleming and Wagner.
Best of luck to Ahmad Wagner. At 6-7, 235 lbs he has the frame to be a football player. We don’t doubt he has the skills to be one either.