Yesterday the news about Oliver Martin transferring to Iowa broke and it was very likely-but-not-official. Well, now we can consider it actually official. First there was this comment from Kirk Ferentz:
A UI statement should be coming soon, but here's what Kirk Ferentz told me about adding Oliver Martin to the roster:— Chad Leistikow (@ChadLeistikow) June 11, 2019
We think very highly of him. I think hell be a really good addition to our football team. Obviously hes a good athlete, but a quality young person as well.
(There's also an expanded version of Ferentz's comment available here.)
And then there was the official University of Iowa press release:
IOWA FOOTBALL ANNOUNCES ROSTER ADDITIONS
IOWA CITY, Iowa – University of Iowa head football coach Kirk Ferentz announced the addition of three wide receivers to the Hawkeye football roster.
Those players are Jack Combs (6-foot-1, 188 pounds), Charlie Jones (6-0, 190), and Oliver Martin (6-1, 200). Combs played previously at Central Michigan, Jones at the University of Buffalo, and Martin at Michigan.
Combs is a native of Grand Rapids, Michigan (East Grand Rapids High School). Jones is a native of Deerfield, Illinois (Deerfield). Martin is a native of Coralville, Iowa (Iowa City West). All are enrolled at the University of Iowa and will join the football program as redshirt sophomores.
Iowa lumping in the official confirmation of Martin's transfer with the news about two other (much lower-profile) transfers seems like such an Iowa athletic department thing to do, honestly. Both Combs and Jones are listed as walk-ons per their official roster bios at Hawkeye Sports. So who are Combs and Jones?
Jack Combs, listed at 6'1", 188 lbs, is a sophomore out of Grand Rapids, Michigan. He spent his freshman season at Central Michigan, where he caught three passes for 27 yards and one touchdown. Charlie Jones, listed at 6'0", 190 lbs, is a sophomore out of Deerfield, Illinois. He redshirted as a true freshman at Buffalo in 2017 and caught 18 passes for 395 yards and three touchdowns as a redshirt sophomore in 2018. He also served as kick returner, taking back 15 kicks for 289 yards.
Like Martin, Combs and Jones are regular transfers (not grad transfers) and will have to sit out the 2019 season unless they are able to obtain a waiver from the NCAA. Combs has a redshirt year remaining, so could redshirt in 2019 while sitting out and still have three years of eligibility remaining. Jones has already used his redshirt year (like Martin), so would have two years of eligibility remaining after sitting out the 2019 season.
Obviously, the big news here is that Oliver Martin's transfer to Iowa is official. As we discussed yesterday, that's a pretty exciting development for a team that's struggled to recruit (and/or develop) high-end receiver prospects. Whether he's able to help Iowa's passing game in 2019 (if he gets a waiver from the NCAA) or has to wait until 2020, adding a player with his potential is very exciting. Combs and Jones are certainly less buzzworthy additions, but no one was too excited about adding Nick Easley, either, and he wound up being Iowa's leading receiver the past two seasons. Best of luck to them at Iowa and welcome aboard to all three players.