Iowa Football: OT Kadyn Proctor to Transfer back to Alabama (2024)

While Iowa fans were gearing up for Tuesday night’s NIT matchup with Kansas State at Carver, a bombshell hit Iowa City. The fanbase was completely blindsided. Former 5-star Southeast Polk tackle Kadyn Proctor was rumored to be entering the transfer portal.

First, it was a select group of fans who got word via the Des Moines Register reporter Chad Leistikow’s text group. As the news slowly spread by word of mouth, The Athletic’s Scott Dochterman reported it as well. Then 247 Sports and On3.

At first the headlines read, “Proctor to re-enter the transfer portal.” That was frustrating and left fans wondering if this was really happening. Then we learned that the man expected to anchor the Iowa offensive line in 2024 was not just planning to re-enter the portal, but was planning to return to Alabama.

Per Dochterman’s Athletic piece:

“Proctor, who went on spring break last week with several former Alabama teammates, is likely to return to Tuscaloosa, those same sources said.”

Again, things seemed almost unbelievable for Hawkeye fans. Proctor has been enrolled at Iowa for less than two whole months. In that span, Iowa has self-reported a recruiting violation because recruiting coordinator Tyler Barnes texted Proctor during his time as Alabama as a freshman and encouraged him to stay positive through his early struggles.

Now, just before he was set to start spring practice with the Hawkeyes, Proctor is walking out the door and leaving a gaping hole at LT for a second time in two years. And he’s doing it before the transfer portal is open with a landing spot lined up before anyone at Alabama could legally even inform him he would have a scholarship available under new head coach Kalen DeBoer.

If there was any doubt about the validity of the reporting, that was soon put to bed on Monday evening. Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz issued a brief statement.

Statement from KF and #Iowa: “It is unfortunate that Kadyn (Proctor) has informed us of his intentions to leave our program today. We wish him well in the future.”

— Eliot Clough (@EliotClough) March 19, 2024

That was followed shortly thereafter by confirmation from the Proctor side in even fewer words.

Kadyn Proctor leaving no doubt about his intentions… (via IG)

— Max Olson (@max_olson) March 19, 2024

The timing is miserable, not just for the football program which is left searching for options at tackle, but also for the basketball program which is poised to enter its offseason search for help in the transfer portal at a time when Iowa fans will be decidedly soured on the idea of giving money to a kid who can walk out the door literally weeks later.

But if there’s any silver lining to this, it’s that Iowa hadn’t yet started spring practice. The departure this early means the returning linemen will garner all spring ball practice reps and the staff will enter the second portal window knowing their needs with an opportunity to fill them. If they can find the NIL support.

That may be the biggest challenge. While Iowa’s NIL collective, the Swarm, has made significant strides, the real money for big time prospects and transfers like Proctor comes from corporations and mega donors. Those are few and far between for a program like Iowa. It’s unclear just how much money Proctor will have made off with on his way back to Tuscaloosa (message board rumors indicate perhaps as much as $500,000), but losing money with nothing to show for it is certain to push some of those big donors to the sidelines and even more of the monthly collective contributors are likely to cancel.

It’s a major blow to the Iowa football program that will have lasting impacts beyond what we see on the field this season. And it begs a series of questions for the NCAA and regulators.

How is a kid even able to transfer twice within a semester and still be able to play? A recent lawsuit stripped the NCAA’s ability to limit transfers or force a kid to sit out.

How can kids demand such exorbitant pay to come play for a school? Isn’t pay for play prohibited? Again, a recent lawsuit stripped the NCAA of its ability to enforce any eligibility rules around NIL.

In short, there are no more rules related to NIL or transfers or really anything. This is the Wild Wild West. Kadyn Proctor just robbed the train.

Iowa Football: OT Kadyn Proctor to Transfer back to Alabama (2024)
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