Iowa true freshman Mika’il McCall was destined to have a big Hawkeye career when he carried the ball for the first time back in September in the season opener.
But after sustaining an injury in that very same game, McCall’s journey went from good to bad to now worse in Iowa City.
And the Dolton, Illinois, native may never play another snap in an Iowa uniform after McCall posted on his Facebook this weekend that he was “school searching.” The post was taken down shortly after the comment, but the true freshman may indeed be on his way out.
McCall had 61 yards in his first game as a Hawkeye back in September before leaving the game with a serious ankle injury. He recovered later in the season and got into the Purdue game in November.
However, McCall was suspended after the win over the Boilermakers, missing the following week’s game against Nebraska. Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz also has said that McCall has not made the trip to Arizona for the Insight Bowl as he has been suspended for that game as well.
Ferentz did not elaborate on what exactly McCall did to get suspended but said something happened after the Purdue game that was “brought to his attention.”
McCall does love to use Facebook as his way to communicate with his fans and media. After the Purdue game, he posted on a friend’s comment that he “did not play again” and then used profanity to describe what he thought of that coaching decision. That post also was taken down shortly after the fact but it may still have gotten to Ferentz.
The Hawkeyes will have very little experience in the backfield for the Insight Bowl as neither McCall nor starter Marcus Coker will be at Sun Devil Stadium for the game. Coker was suspended last week for violating the school code of conduct policy. He has rushed for more than 1,300 yards and 15 TDs this season.
Without Coker and with McCall apparently not even wanting to be on the team, Iowa will not have a lot of experience to lean on Friday when it takes on nationally ranked Oklahoma.
Fans can expect the bulk of the carries to go to redshirt freshman DeAndre Johnson and true freshman speedster Jordan Canzeri. Johnson will most likely start, but Canzeri as well as true freshman Damon Bullock and junior Jason White may also see the field.
White has been listed as the team’s No. 2 running back all season but has only carried the ball three times.
If McCall does indeed leave the team, it will be the fifth running back in two seasons to either leave the program or get removed from the team. The previous four were Brandon Wegher (transferred-personal reasons), Jeff Brinson (transferred-playing time), Adam Robinson (removed after drug suspension) and Jewel Hampton (transferred after disciplinary action).
If Coker for some reason does not return to the team next season, Iowa will once again have mostly sophomores and freshman lining up in the backfield. The only other running back listed on the roster besides the above-mentioned players is redshirt freshman Marcus Binns, the brother of outgoing senior DE Broderick Binns. True freshman Michael Malloy of Sioux City Bishop Heelan also comes into the program next season.