Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to the king, "O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, Yahweh is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king. But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up."
-- Book of Daniel, Chapter 3
And lo, both Shadrick and Yahweh stepped into the fiery furnace that is the transfer portal.
Iowa redshirt freshmen Shadrick Byrd and Yahweh Jeudy notified the program of their intent to transfer Thursday. It came one week into the season when Byrd, a halfback, saw limited time on special teams and Jeudy, a linebacker, did not play. Reports indicate that the transfers had nothing to do with the claims of racial harassment and discrimination from this summer.
Byrd joins a long line of Southern skill position guys who didn't last. He came to Iowa from Alabaster, Alabama, which led to us saying this during this season's Positional Awareness series:
Iowa has had horrible results with recruits outside the proverbial 500-mile radius of Iowa City, mostly because they are forced to wait their turn away from home for years. Goodson and Brandon Smith might be the first sign of a new philosophy: If Iowa is going to invest the time and money into recruiting the South, it's going to find a way to get these guys on the field.
Iowa didn't do that in Week One. In all fairness, it couldn't: The backfield is so overloaded at the moment that the staff couldn't even get Tyler Goodson a carry in the fourth quarter. There just wasn't any room for Byrd in this season's plans, and given that he's in the same recruiting class as Goodson, the writing was on the wall.
Jeudy, a former three-star linebacker out of Florida, flipped to Iowa from Kansas State on Signing Day Eve. The fact that those two programs were at the top tells you that Jeudy was probably a developmental project, and I'm not sure he saw himself that way.
Recruiting the South is a necessity these days, but it also carries risk of transfers like these. It's never easy to keep the guys from outside the Midwest in Iowa City without playing time. Iowa, as a developmental program, doesn't tend to hand out playing time to underclassmen. Couple that with this time of unprecedented uncertainty and the NCAA's extra year of eligibility, turning 2020 into essentially a second redshirt year, and it's not hard to see why some guys would simply like to be closer to home. Byrd and Jeudy are the first transfers to be reported this fall, but I doubt they'll be the last. We wish them the best wherever they land.