TAMPA, Fla. — Akrum Wadley said following Iowa’s Outback Bowl loss to Florida on Monday that the chances of him playing another game for Iowa are “50-50.’’
The junior running back is weighing the possibility of foregoing his final year of eligibility and placing his name into consideration for his year’s NFL Draft.
“It’s something I have to think about, talk over with my family and my coaches,’’ Wadley said following the Hawkeyes’ 30-3 loss to the Gators. “It’s not an easy deal. I have to do what’s best.’’
On a day when Iowa struggled to get much of anything going against an opponent which entered the game ranking in the top 10 nationally in five defensive categories, Wadley had a hand in much of the limited offensive success the Hawkeyes had against the Gators.
He led Iowa in rushing and receiving, carrying 22 times for 115 yards in addition to recording four of the seven receptions for the Hawkeyes, gaining 21 yards.
Wadley’s rushing total pushed him over the 1,000-yard mark for the season, joining LeShun Daniels to give the Hawkeyes a pair of 1,000-yard rushers in a single season for the first time in the program’s history.
“It’s been a good year and there are things that can better and improve. That’s part of what I have to figure out,’’ Wadley said. “There are two sides to do it, gotta figure out what the best thing is right now.’’
Wadley expects to reach a conclusion fairly soon.
Shortly after topping 100 yards for the sixth time this season and leading Iowa in receptions for the fourth time this year, Wadley said he would like to reach a decision within a week, not wanting to leave anybody hanging one way or another.
“The next few days, it’s got to get figured out by then,’’ Wadley said. “It’s been on my mind, but I need to talk it over with some people and go from there.’’
Wadley believes he could be comfortable with a decision either way.
“I know I still need to gain a few pounds. That’s part of it,’’ he said, echoing the comments of Hawkeye coaches who have struggled to get Wadley to maintain a weight of 190 pounds or better. “I know I can still be a better player, have a better year next year. I need to figure it out.’’