Summer workouts began at Iowa on Monday, and with a roster stuffed to the gills, it was high time for some personnel news. And so the Hawkeyes waited for Kirk Ferentz to officially become the longest-tenured head coach in the country and, while everyone was distracted, the dam burst:
Per release, K Mick Ellis and WR Ronald Nash will continue their education at Iowa, but will no longer be members of the football program.— Marc Morehouse (@marcmorehouse) June 7, 2017
Nash, originally from Sioux City, was headed for UNI before changing his mind and spending a season at Iowa Western Community College. He joined the Hawkeyes as a preferred walk-on in 2015, redshirted, and caught two passes in his only season of action. Nash's departure makes Matt Vandeberg the sole wide receiver with a catch last season on the roster, which feels less than ideal, but there was no indication that Nash was considered a significant contributor going forward.
Mick Ellis was one of the best high school kicking prospects in the country when he signed with Iowa in 2014. He was good enough to be the starting kicker for a three-game stretch at the beginning of his freshman year. But Ellis missed his only field goal attempt that year -- his only field goal attempt as a Hawkeye, it would turn out -- and was out of action by October. He never again recorded a field goal or extra point attempt, as far as I know. For a scholarship kicker, two years on the pine behind a walk-on is pretty much the kiss of death.
According to Rivals, Ellis was one of just two players recruited by the now-departed Bobby Kennedy left on the roster. The last Kennedy recruit left standing is Josh Jackson. I'd say he should win a prize, but that would probably be a violation of NCAA rules.
One other note that has been bouncing around the Internet in recent days: Daviyon Nixon, the three-star defensive tackle recruit out of Wisconsin, isn't on campus just yet.
Nixon was basically off the board for Iowa recruitniks until hours before Signing Day and then suddenly was a Hawkeye, so grades have been a concern for some time. Iowa said back then that it had a "plan" to keep Nixon enrolled, and it still might. But the track record of guys who can't qualify by summer is nearly as bad as that of guys recruited by Bobby Kennedy.