We knew it would come to this, I think. Iowa currently has four scholarship quarterbacks -- and they would have five come fall when incoming recruit Tyler Wiegers joins the fray. That's a bit too many when only one is going to get the majority of the snaps. Jake Rudock (JR) and C.J. Beathard (SO) have established themselves as the top two options at QB for Iowa and Nic Shimonek (RS FR) and Wiegers (FR) are young enough to still have several years to compete for the starting gig, which leaves former JUCO transfer Cody Sokol (SR) as the odd man out.
So seeing this tweet today did not exactly come as a surprise:
Per @HawkeyeReport, Iowa QB Cody Sokol is openly shopping for a new school. La Tech and Ball State are candidates.— marcmorehouse (@marcmorehouse) February 27, 2014
Sokol arrived at Iowa as part of the 2012 recruiting class, a junior-college transfer from Scottsdale Community College who come to Iowa off a scorching sophomore campaign for the Fightin' Artichokes: 253/424, 3807 yards, 43/10 TD/INT. Sokol had Iowa ties -- he was born in Des Moines -- and figured to be in the mix to replace James Vandenberg after redshirting during the 2012 season.
He was indeed part of the three-man derby last spring to Vandenberg as Iowa's starting QB; unfortunately, he happened to finish third in that particular race. Rudock won the starting job, while Beathard emerged as the primary back-up and saw time during garbage time (Iowa's wins over Western Michigan and Nebraska) and when Rudock went down with injuries (against Wisconsin and LSU, notably). Sokol recorded no stats in 2013, but the participation report indicates that he did see a few snaps against Nebraska.
It's a little curious that Sokol would be considering Louisiana Tech or Ball State, given that 2014-15 will be his senior year of eligibility and transferring from one Division I school to another would typically require him to sit out a year of competition. In order to waive that requirement, he'd either need to provide evidence of a medical hardship or use the graduate student exception -- basically, student athletes who have graduated from their current institution but still have eligibility remaining can transfer to another institution if that institute offers a graduate program not offered by their current institution. (And, no, I don't know what graduate programs Ball State or Louisiana Tech might offer that Iowa does not.) It's certainly plausible that Sokol might be able to qualify for the grad student exception -- he's already been in college for four years (between his two years at Scottsdale and his two years at Iowa) and his Hawkeye Sports bio says he was a three-year member of the prep Honor Roll.
Interestingly, Iowa fans might get a chance to see Sokol on the field at Kinnick Stadium anyway if he lands at Ball State -- the Cardinals are slated to play Iowa on September 6th, 2014. Best of luck to Sokol wherever he lands, though. There's no bad guy in this situation -- quarterbacks want to play and there wasn't going to be an opportunity for him to do that at Iowa.