Iowa running back Derrick Mitchell Jr. carries the ball during the second half of a 2015 game at Indiana. Mitchell plans to transfer from the program after earning his undergraduate degree in May.


The running back who became the odd man out as LeShun Daniels and Akrum Wadley each topped 1,000 rushing yards last season for the Iowa football team is running to another program for his senior season.

Derrick Mitchell will earn his undergraduate degree at Iowa in May and plans to use his final season of eligibility elsewhere as a graduate transfer.

Mitchell saw action in just five games last fall for the Hawkeyes, rushing twice for 12 yards and one touchdown. He also caught six passes for 24 yards while being utilized primarily as a third-down back.

“Derrick will earn his degree from Iowa this spring and has elected to transfer for his senior season,’’ coach Kirk Ferentz said in a statement, calling Mitchell “a great teammate and valuable team member during his career.’’

With Wadley’s decision to return for his senior season after leading Iowa with 1,081 rushing yards and finishing second on the team with 36 receptions last season, Mitchell’s role with the Hawkeyes was not expected to change significantly in 2017.

A 6-foot-1, 220-pound St. Louis native, Mitchell arrived at Iowa as a wide receiver but moved to the running back position two years ago. He saw his most extensive action in 2015, rushing for 162 yards and two touchdowns in addition to catching 15 passes for 141 yards.

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He continued to be listed as the Hawkeyes’ third-team running back in a pre-spring depth chart released by Iowa earlier this month.

Mitchell was listed behind Wadley and Toks Akinribade, who rushed for 33 yards on 16 carries as a true freshman during the Hawkeyes’ recently-completed 8-5 season.

Iowa lists three other running backs on its 2017 spring roster, junior Marcel Joly and a pair of redshirt freshmen, Toren Young and walk-on Sam Cook.

Mitchell is the 10th player from Iowa's 20-player 2013 recruiting class to leave the program before completing his eligibility.