In some news that seems relatively minor on the surface, defensive lineman Romeo McKnight announced Sunday evening via Twitter that he intends to transfer after spending two years at The University of Iowa.
Thank you hawkeye nation! pic.twitter.com/f3ppQoCrnp— Romeo McKnight (@RomeoMcKnight23) May 13, 2018
McKnight, who was a three-star recruit out of Crystal Lake, IL, was never able to see playing time during his time at Iowa. After redshirting as a freshman in 2016, McKnight was forced to miss the entirety of the 2017 season while he recovered from a knee injury. That, paired with the tremendous depth that Iowa currently has on the defensive line, appear to be the reason that he’s chosen to transfer.
Romeo McKnight on why he's leaving the Hawkeye program. Makes sense. Lost a lot of development time to rehab while others at the position advanced. And Iowa is deep there. pic.twitter.com/AT2slO2oVw— Rob Howe (@RobHoweHN) May 13, 2018
All-in-all, the move looks to be in his best interest. He’s fallen behind in the pecking order at Iowa thanks to an injury, and he just wants to go somewhere that has more of a need for him to play sooner rather than later. Who can blame the kid?
As for how this move affects the Iowa football program, it helps the team get one spot closer to the scholarship limit. This transfer puts the team at 86 and they have just one more scholarship they need to be freed up before next fall to be safe. It’s a real possibility that Toks Akinribade will have to quit playing football after a serious injury in December, but it’s not known for certain what his status will be moving forward.
There isn’t really a downside to this transfer in that McKnight likely wouldn’t be seeing any meaningful playing time in the near future at Iowa and the Hawks get closer to compliance with the scholarship limit. On the other side, McKnight can talk to some coaches and try to find a place that has a bigger need for his talents. It’s a win for both parties.
Best of luck to Romeo moving forward, and we hope that he’s able to find a good landing spot to continue his football career!