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IOWA CITY — Iowa linebacker Jestin Jacobs entered the transfer portal Tuesday as a graduate transfer.
Jacobs, who missed most of 2022 after needing season-ending surgery, had been Iowa’s starting Leo linebacker going into the last two seasons. He would have been the most experienced linebacker in a 2023 room that is expected to be without Jack Campbell and Seth Benson, who are seniors this year.
“I will never forget the impact that Iowa has not only had on me as a player, but as a person as well,” Jacobs said in a tweet thanking teammates and the staff.
Jacobs’ decision to enter the portal comes two months after Iowa linebackers coach Seth Wallace said he expected Jacobs was going to stay for another year rather than pursue NFL opportunities.
“I don’t want to speak for Jestin, but I do expect him to stick around for another year and double-down on his opportunity,” Wallace said. “Help lead this team from a veteran standpoint.”
Barring a decision from Campbell or Benson to stay an extra year, Jay Higgins will be the only player listed at linebacker to have started a game in an Iowa uniform.
“We’ll obviously have some fresh faces out there next year in the linebacker room,” Wallace said in October.
Jacobs and defensive back Reggie Bracy are the first players to enter the transfer portal from a defense that ranked sixth among FBS teams in points allowed per game and fourth in yards allowed per game.
A native of Englewood, Ohio, Jacobs was a highly sought-after recruit. He chose Iowa over Ohio State, Michigan State and other Power Five programs.
He will have two years of eligibility remaining.