We've known for a few weeks that Ahmad Wagner was leaving the Iowa basketball team to play football -- we just didn't know where. There was some thought (hope?) that Wagner would stay at Iowa and trade gamedays at Carver-Hawkeye Arena for gamedays at Kinnick Stadium, and while Wagner said the Iowa coaches did "reach out to him" as the days (and weeks) went by without any progress in that direction, it began to seem unlikely. And indeed Wagner is not staying in Iowa City to pursue his football dreams -- he's headed south.
First off I would like to thank God for the blessing and opportunity he has put in front of me.. with that being said after much thought and consideration from my family I will be furthering my academic and athletic career at the University of Kentucky! #BBN pic.twitter.com/OUWi5n9IV9
— Ahmad Wagner (@Ahmad_Wagner) May 1, 2018
Wagner is headed down south to play football for the Kentucky Wildcats. There is an Iowa connection there: Kentucky is coached by former Iowa football player Mark Stoops. It was widely assumed that if Wagner left Iowa that he would both have to sit out a season and only have one year of eligibility remaining, but Cats Illustrated is reporting that Wagner is immediately eligible to play in 2018 and will also have two years of eligibility to play due to an unspecified "exemption" to the transfer rules. I'm not sure what exemption might be, but if it's true, good for Wagner.
As a high school senior, Wagner was a hugely productive player, catching 58 balls for 1028 yards and 17 (!) touchdowns and earning first-team All-Ohio honors. He's expected to play wide receiver or tight end at Kentucky. It would have been fun to see what he could do as an Iowa football player, but it wasn't in the cards apparently. Best of luck to Wagner at Kentucky -- give 'em hell in the ESS EEE SEE and show 'em what a B1G kid can do, Wags.