Iowa Football

Iowa wide receiver Oliver Martin back in the transfer portal

Iowa Hawkeyes wide receiver Oliver Martin (5) warms up  at an Iowa Hawkeyes football game with the Illinois Fighting Ill
Iowa Hawkeyes wide receiver Oliver Martin (5) warms up at an Iowa Hawkeyes football game with the Illinois Fighting Illini at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City on Saturday, Nov. 23, 2019. (Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette)

IOWA CITY — His transfer almost exactly a year ago was the hot topic of the summer. His apparent transfer now feels more like a footnote.

Iowa junior wide receiver Oliver Martin has re-entered the NCAA transfer portal, it was learned Friday. The former Iowa City West prep played one season for the Hawkeyes after transferring from Michigan, where he signed as a much-ballyhooed, four-star recruit.

“Played” last season at Iowa is a relative term here, as Martin saw time in eight of Iowa’s 13 games and caught five passes for 28 yards and a touchdown, all in the first four games. With a very deep receiving corps that includes Ihmir Smith-Marsette, Brandon Smith, Niko Ragaini and Tyrone Tracy Jr., Martin’s playing time this season, if there is one, appeared to be limited again.

The 6-foot-1, 200-pounder had one start and caught 11 passes for Michigan in 2018. He redshirted as a true freshman in 2017.

Martin never said publicly why he transferred from Michigan to Iowa, where he became immediately eligible after an appeal to the NCAA.

“Everybody wants Oliver to play right now, and it’s kind of unfair,” Iowa receivers coach Kelton Copeland said last October. “It takes a lot for any young man, whether it’s coming out of high school or coming from another four-year institution. It takes a lot to learn what’s being asked of you on a day-to-day basis.

“To his credit, he’s done a really good job of being accountable. I have no issues with Oliver off the field. I enjoy him in meetings, he’s fun to coach. It’s can we push forward?”

Comments: (319) 398-8259; jeff.johnson@thegazette.com

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