An all-American junior college running back has been added the mix of talent competing for carries on the Iowa football team this fall.
Mekhi Sargent, a 5-foot-11, 215-pound native of Key West, Florida, who rushed for 1,449 yards last season at Iowa Western Community College, enrolled at Iowa for the start of summer classes on Monday with hopes of seeing the field this fall for the Hawkeyes.
“He has everything you look for in a running back,’’ Iowa Western coach Scott Strohmeier said. “He showed patience, good vision, was good in pass protection and was a capable receiver with good hands. Iowa has had an eye on him for some time.’’
He selected the Hawkeyes over Louisville, who offered Sargent a scholarship in April, and offers last December from Northern Iowa and New Mexico State.
Sargent earned first-team all-American honors from the National Junior College Athletic Association after rushing for an average of 144.9 yards per game for the Reivers, carrying 205 times and running for 14 touchdowns. He also caught 12 passes for 91 yards and two scores.
He competed last fall as a redshirt freshman for an 11-1 team and arrives at Iowa with three years of eligibility remaining.
Having already used his redshirt year, Sargent is expected to join a group of backs this fall looking to help the Hawkeyes replace Akrum Wadley and James Butler, who combined to rush for 1,505 yards in 2017.
Sophomores Toren Young and Ivory Kelly-Martin, who rushed for 193 and 184 yards respectively last season, top Iowa’s most recent depth chart at running back.
Kyshaun Bryan, converted defensive back Cam Harrell and incoming freshman Henry Geil are the only scholarship players currently listed at the position.