Sophomore-to-be John Kenny is leaving the Iowa football program, according to multiple sources and his own Twitter account.
John Kenny confirms he is leaving Iowa and will transfer to another program http://t.co/WMb3m8tyqy— Blair Sanderson (@BlairRIVALS) May 7, 2015
If there was any doubt, Kenny retweeted a Rob Howe tweet with a quote on why he is leaving the team. The act of tweeting itself, as we know, is a sign that it's over.
back on twitter, it's been too long— John Kenny (@kennyman21) May 7, 2015
Always makes me nervous when I see a certain group of people I happen to cover break like 800-day Twitter absences.— marcmorehouse (@marcmorehouse) May 7, 2015
Kenny was arguably the top recruit in Iowa's Class of 2013; 247's composite index had him ranked behind only tight end John Wisnieski and lineman Colin Goebel. He is the
sixth seventh member of his recruiting class to leave Iowa early (cornerback Malik Rucker, who also announced his transfer this week, was also a member of this class). Kenny redshirted as a freshman and filled in at fullback during last season. He had reportedly moved back to linebacker during spring, but was obviously buried on Iowa's depth chart behind classmate Josey Jewell and walk-on Bo Bower.
Iowa has walk-ons starting or in contention at left tackle, right tackle, linebacker, strong safety, and fullback, and this is the upshot: The guys actually recruited to play those positions are going to look elsewhere. It's tough enough to play football at Iowa, what with the lack of recent success, the antiquated schemes, the ban on social media that is ubiquitous among players' peers, and the strange obsession with how this isn't supposed to be fun. But when the staff seems dedicated to giving playing time at crucial positions to wholly unheralded players, at the expense of guys who had other options, they're practically begging for transfers. When sacrificing for the program and filling in at fullback earns so little extra credit that a highly-regarded player can't even get on the two-deep at his preferred position, there's something wrong the system. Kenny's transfer came from the same place that caused last year's quarterback controversy and recently drove a Notre Dame offensive lineman to go public with his anger at Iowa's recruiting tactics. The fact is that Iowa's eye for talent, both in recruiting and once players are on campus, is in serious question.
Before he went into Twitter purgatory, Kenny had tweeted a picture of a fictitious poster sent to him by Iowa's recruiters:
sooo pumped #hawkeyenation pic.twitter.com/AtmomA3U— John Kenny (@kennyman21) May 22, 2012
Two players on that poster never came to Iowa; Delano Hill left for Michigan at the last second, and David Kenney ended up at Indiana when the Hoosiers hired his dad.
Three Four other players -- Kenny, Derrick Willies, Colin Goebel and Nik Shimonek -- have since transferred. This is not a simple matter of a backup linebacker choosing to pursue other options. This is yet another sign of an epidemic at a program that talks a lot about 'development' but can't keep anyone long enough to actually do any developing.