Barkley Hill may be in uniform at Kinnick Stadium when the 2014 football season opens, but the running back will be suiting up for Iowa’s opponent.
Hill, who had positioned himself for potential playing time as a true freshman in 2012 before suffering a season-ending ACL injury during a preseason scrimmage, has enrolled at Northern Iowa after leaving the Hawkeye program following the spring semester.
The sophomore who was a Parade Magazine all-American after rushing for more than 6,000 yards in three seasons of varsity competition at Cedar Falls High School is one of three Iowa players who will not return this fall.
Coach Kirk Ferentz announced Wednesday that Hill and wide receivers A.J.Jones and Blake Haluska will not play for the Hawkeyes this fall.
Like Hill, Jones plans to transfer after sitting out as a redshirt freshman last fall while Haluska will miss his final season of eligibility at Iowa because of a shoulder injury.
Haluska, who joined the program as a walk-on in 2010, is the only one of the three who has seen game action and is expected to earn his degree this summer. He played in three games for Iowa last season, but recorded no statistics.
“Blake’s injury will keep him from participating this fall. Barkley and A.J. have elected to continue their careers elsewhere,’’ Ferentz said. “We wish each of the three the best.’’
The 6-foot, 215-pound Hill showed signs during spring ball of returning to the form which made him a candidate for early playing time in 2012, but he has been unable to work his way back up a crowded depth chart at running back.
Iowa returns Mark Weisman, Damon Bullock, Jordan Canzeri and LeShun Daniels after the quartet gained 2,065 yards last fall.
With his transfer to UNI and the Football Championship Subdivision level, Hill would be eligible to compete this fall. The Panthers visit Iowa for the Aug. 30 season opener for both teams.
Hill will face competition for playing time in the backfield at UNI as well. Clinton native David Johnson, who rushed for 1,291 yards and 10 touchdowns last fall for the Panthers, returns for his senior season.