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35 Days Until Hawkeye Football: Barrington Wade

Will the Illinois product break out in his fifth year at the program?

Minnesota v Iowa Photo by Matthew Holst/Getty Images

The countdown continues with a fifth-year senior.

Barrington Wade, Senior
Skokie, IL (Niles North)
6’1”, 236 lbs
2020 Projection: Rotational linebacker

The 2016 recruit came to Iowa over offers from Connecticut, Wyoming, and the typical MAC flotsam. He promptly redshirted in 2016 and rarely saw the field in 2017.

In 2018, his role increased as a special teams stalwart where he posted 3 tackles. His role continued to increase last year as he was a regular on Iowa’s two-deeps who tallied 8 tackles, including half for a loss. He earned a start against Wisconsin, when Iowa went with a unique four linebacker look to open the game.

Perhaps nobody has been more negatively impacted by Iowa’s shift towards five defensive backs on Iowa’s current roster than Wade. His OLB position is “slashed” with the cash position Iowa uses, which has been the priority as teams move to more spread concepts. He’s also faced stiff competition for that position with Nick Niemann, who has seen the field much more than Wade.

Yet the opportunity is there for the fifth year senior. Iowa’s linebacker room has never been more thin through both attrition and reprioritization. Past seniors - Cole Fisher and Jack Hockaday come to mind - have come through in their final year. If he’s unable to carve out a role larger than what he occupies on special teams, he may be a candidate for transfer at the end of 2020 since the NCAA is giving this season a mulligan from an eligibility standpoint.

Ideally, though, Wade comes out firing and looks great in the black and gold for his swan song.