Strange news Tuesday night on the recruiting front: Iowa quarterback commit Jack Beneventi is no longer Iowa quarterback commit Jack Beneventi after Iowa pulled his offer last week. The details from Beneventi himself, courtesy of Scout's Rob Howe:
"Coach Brian Ferentz came in for a visit last Monday (Dec. 1). I'm not taking (an official visit). Iowa is not interested anymore," Beneventi said. "Basically yes (Iowa pulled his scholarship offer). They are pressuring me more along the lines of not going to Iowa. Yes, saying I'm uncommitted would be the appropriate way to classify it."
Pulling a scholarship from a committed player is basically unheard of at Iowa. The coaches raised some eyebrows when they pulled a scholarship from safety recruit Jyaz Jones last year, but there was considerable disagreement over whether he actually had an unconditional offer at the time he announced his commitment. Otherwise, we can't remember anyone having a scholarship pulled in the seven years we've been doing this.
To be fair, Beneventi's senior season didn't much help matters. Beneventi switched high schools, reportedly because his family moved to a different part of Chicago. According to the Des Moines Register/Iowa City Press-Citizen, Beneventi completed just 47 percent of his passes and threw 14 interceptions against just 12 touchdowns. He then got benched late in the year after going 14/41 with four interceptions in his team's final two games. There had also been more than a little talk of a serious backslide during his junior season, so this might not have simply been a one-year blip with a new program. Obviously it was enough for Iowa to put him on an ice float, however poor that may look to outside observers..
Without Beneventi, it looks increasingly likely that Iowa player of the year Ryan Boyle sticks at quarterback, though Drew Cook could also end up under center. Iowa will have three returning quarterbacks next year barring a transfer (I know, I know) and at least one freshman to redshirt behind them. In other words, there is no doubt Beneventi was excess of requirements for a program that is short on open scholarships this year and desperately trying to improve the talent level.
Farewell, giant quarterback. We hardly knew ye.