The Iowa Hawkeyes don’t have a long history of taking in graduate transfers, but its recent history is building some momentum. We’ve seen Kirk Ferentz and staff dip into the transfer portal to fill needs at punter a number of times. Now, as we look to 2020, the Hawkeyes are supplementing their depth at offensive line with a big time graduate transfer from within the Big Ten.
While nothing has been officially released from the University of Iowa, the school does have a new student listed in the directory. Not just any student, one who was a division one football player currently in the transfer portal.
Coy Cronk, a 6’5” 320 pound tackle from Lafeyette, Indiana, spent the last four years at the University of Indiana as a starting left tackle. The former 3-star prospect had been a critical cog in the Hoosier offensive line before suffering a season-ending ankle injury in September of the 2019. The injury required surgery, which Cronk has undergone.
The former Central Catholic product was on the Outland Trophy watch list before the injury ended his Indiana career last season. He now comes to Iowa City with one year of eligibility remaining. He will be eligible to play immediately and has enrolled in the spring semester at the University of Iowa, giving him an opportunity to participate in spring practices.
During his time at Indiana, Cronk was named to the Big Ten All-Freshman team in 2016 and was a 247 Sports Freshman All-American. He started 40 games for the Hoosiers, all at left tackle. With the Hawkeyes getting Alaric Jackson back for his senior year, it’s unlikely Cronk will have an opportunity at left tackle.
However, he will have a chance to improve his NFL prospects by demonstrating versatility. Iowa returns the aforementioned Jackson, as well as center Tyler Linderbaum and a quartet of players who saw substantial time at guard. Kyler Schott seems like he is set to start at one spot and Mark Kallenberger seemed to emerge in bowl prep as a starter. But Justin Britt and Cole Banwart are both question marks following injuries.
Adding Cronk provides Tim Polasek a lot of flexibility and adds depth. The grad-transfer seems like a front-runner to replace Tristan Wirfs at right tackle, but he could also slide inside to guard and allow Kallenberger to make his transition to tackle. You could also see Britt transition to tackle with his size and athleticism. You could also see redshirt sophomore Jack Plumb make an appearance as he continues to fill out. The flexibility afforded with this addition is tremendous and substantially improves the depth for a position known to incur injuries.
Welcome aboard Coy Cronk!