Iowa Football

Iowa quarterback Peyton Mansell hits the transfer portal

Texan lost the No. 2 job this year and so this was totally expected

Iowa quarterback Peyton Mansell (2) reaches for a first down as offensive lineman Alaric Jackson (77) and defensive end
Iowa quarterback Peyton Mansell (2) reaches for a first down as offensive lineman Alaric Jackson (77) and defensive end A.J. Epenesa (94) trail the play during the final spring practice at the team’s practice facility in Iowa City on Friday, April 26, 2019. (Cliff Jette/The Gazette)

IOWA CITY — Appreciate Peyton Mansell’s Iowa career for this: In 2017, when signing day still started in February, Mansell hung with his commitment to Iowa despite running back Eno Benjamin and all of those skilled fellow home state Texans who Mansell got to know through recruiting, abandoning their commitments to the Hawkeyes.

Mansell wanted to be a Hawkeye and stood by his word.

“The guys who didn’t end up coming are all my friends and it stinks that I didn’t get a chance to play with them,” Mansell, who completed 189 of 272 passes (69 percent) for 2,558 yards with 33 touchdowns and seven interceptions for Belton High School, said at the time. “I committed to the school and not my friends. I was committed from the school from day one and now even with coach Davis, coach Kennedy and coach White leaving, I’m still committed.”

There was that, too. Basically all of the coaches who sold Mansell on Iowa — offensive coordinator Greg Davis, running backs coach Chris White and wide receivers coach Bobby Kennedy — were gone before he arrived in Iowa City.

In the 2 1/2 years since, Mansell arrived the same time Nate Stanley moved in for his three-year stay as Iowa’s QB1. And then last season, Mansell lost a battle for the No. 2 spot with redshirt freshman Spencer Petras, who’ll likely go into 2020 as a sophomore and first-year starter.

So, Mansell entered the transfer portal on Wednesday, according to ESPN’s Adam Rittenberg.

Before that news, Iowa said goodbye to senior three-year starter Stanley and hello to Petras. The most experienced backup now is redshirt freshman Alex Padilla. Here’s where coming in for spring drills might pay off. Incoming freshman Deuce Hogan moved up a spot on the depth chart with Mansell’s departure, but is not enrolling early. So, if you’re looking for a differentiator, Petras is on his third spring, Padilla his second and Hogan will be new next fall.

Hogan also is a Rivals 4 star. Not only did Georgia offer him, but, according to The Athletic’s Scott Dochterman, Georgia also tried to land a helicopter at one of Hogan’s practices.

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“He’s really a natural leader,” Iowa recruiting director Tyler Barnes said. “He’s got a presence about himself. Everybody came in for a weekend in June and he talked to our guys. We did not coach him up on what to say. I think I was one of the few staff members to stay in that room for that speech and it was shocking.

“He’s got an natural aura and a natural leadership that you can’t really teach.”

Sophomore walk-on Connor Kapisak (6-foot-5, 211 pounds, South Windsor, Conn.) is the No. 4 quarterback.

With senior walk-on Ryan Schmidt graduating, the Iowa QB room will go from six in 2019 to four as it stands going into next season.

Comments: (319) 398-8256; marc.morehouse@thegazette.com

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