On the same day that one of their incoming freshman asked for and was granted a release from his scholarship, the Iowa football program also lost a key wide receiver and the top return man in the Big Ten Conference.
Charlie Jones, who was named the winner of the Rodgers-Dwight Return Specialists of the Year, entered the NCAA transfer portal on Wednesday afternoon. He decided to return for an extra year granted by the NCAA due to Covid-19 and participated in spring ball for the Hawkeyes.
Last season he caught 21 passes for 323 yards and three touchdowns. He also averaged 25.4 yards per return on kickoffs last season, including a return for a touchdown against Illinois. Jones also averaged 7.7 yards per point returns last season.
Jones was slated to be in the two deeps at wide receiver and the Hawkeyes were already relatively thin at the position, having already lost Tyrone Tracy to Purdue after the season. Iowa is now at six scholarship wide receivers on the roster, including Brody Brecht, who played baseball this spring, and incoming freshman Jacob Bostick.
The other area of impact will obviously be in the return game. Fortunately Iowa does have several potential candidates to handle punt and kickoff returns this season. Leading that list might be defensive back Cooper DeJean and wide receivers Keagan Johnson and Arland Bruce.