DISCLAIMER: This is a rumor. It has not been confirmed or verified by anyone at Iowa or any potential transfer destination at this point. Go into your kitchen and grab a salt shaker before reading further.
About a week ago, a rumor swirled among message boards and posters with nebulous sources that Jake Rudock was planning to graduate and transfer... to Michigan. The story didn't seem to have legs, though, and Michigan sites seemed to dismiss it. But it's hard to keep a good rumor down and it rose again yesterday:
Interesting if true: A poster on Bucknuts says Iowa QB Jake Rudock will transfer to Michigan and be eligible immediately this fall.— Dave Biddle (@davebiddle) February 23, 2015
Biddle is the editor of Bucknuts.com, the Ohio State site on the 247 network.
And yet the rumor still struggled to gain traction:
Jake Rudock to Michigan? Doesn't look likely. http://t.co/EFNUNc2UFa— Michael Spath (@Spath_Wolverine) February 23, 2015
Spath is a sportswriter for TheWolverine.com, the Michigan site on the Rivals network.
Hearing positive news on Iowa graduate transfer QB Jake Rudock. #GoBlue— Michigan Updates24/7 (@michigannews13) February 24, 2015
Whether the rumor is true or not (and we should find out one way or the other very soon), it's an appealing rumor because it does make a great deal of sense on the surface. Getting benched in the Gator Bowl and then getting bumped down to the back-up status on the bizarre spring depth chart that Ferentz released last month seemed to be pretty clear shots across the bow from Ferentz and an indication that he's moving on from Rudock as the starting quarterback at Iowa and putting his eggs in the C.J. Beathard basket. And it's understandable that a fifth-year senior like Rudock, with one year of football eligibility remaining, wouldn't be particularly interested in sitting around and backing up Beathard.
To transfer to Michigan (or any other FBS program; there have been rumors linking him to programs other than Big Blue as well, including Boise State) and be able to play next fall, Rudock would need to complete his undergraduate degree this semester and use the graduate transfer exception (i.e., how Russell Wilson was able to transfer from North Carolina State to Wisconsin and play immediately) to go to another FBS school and play right away. I don't know how close Rudock is to graduating, but given everything we've heard about his intelligence and preparation, it certainly wouldn't be the least bit surprising if he was on course to graduate in May.
It would be a little strange to see Rudock suit up for another Big Ten school, but Michigan isn't on Iowa's regular season slate next season, so there's no chance of Rudock facing his former team (unless they met in the Big Ten Championship Game, which... LOL), which might have been tremendously awkward. If Rudock does end up leaving Iowa, I wish him the best at his next stop. The two years he he had as Iowa's starting quarterback were marked by frustrating win-loss records, some inconsistent performances, and a few standout wins (most notably Iowa's emphatic win over Nebraska in Lincoln in 2013), but the frustration and inconsistency seemed to have as much to do with the talent around Rudock, the playcalling running the offense, the tensions behind the scenes in Iowa's offensive design. Maybe this is goodbye to Jake, maybe it's not -- for now this is still just a rumor, albeit one that seems to be picking up some steam of late. We'll probably know more soon.