IOWA CITY, Iowa – The Iowa football careers of linebacker Justin Jinning and running back Eric Graham both have ended before either appeared in a game for the Hawkeyes.
Jinning, a redshirt freshman from The Colony Texas, announced Tuesday afternoon on Instagram that he was leaving Iowa to pursue new doors, while HawkeyeReport.com first reported that Graham, a redshirt freshman from Prattville, Ala., wanted to transfer to a different school.
"It’s been a year of many ups and downs and I’m more than grateful for the opportunity I was blessed with to become Hawkeye," Jinning said. "But now it’s time I pursue some of my other goals in life and take advantage of new doors that I have opened in other areas of my life. My memories here will live on forever. #onceahawkalwaysahawk.
Jinning and Graham both were redshirted as a true freshmen last season. Neither player was listed on the 2016 depth chart during spring practice.
The 6-foot-2, 225-pound Jinning was a unanimous all-district performer as a junior and senior in high school. He also was the district Defensive Player of the Year as a senior.
Graham earned all-state recognition for three consecutive seasons in high school. He rushed for over 2,400 yards as a senior and for over 2,300 yards as a junior.
With Jinning and Graham both leaving the program, Iowa will have two more scholarships available for this coming season.
Senior cornerback Maurice Fleming also left the Iowa team in April in hopes of finding a school where he could start next season. Fleming has since transferred to West Virginia, where he will be eligible to play next season as a graduate student.
Jinning and Graham both would have to sit out the 2016 season if they transferred to another Division I school. But they could play immediately if they transferred to a school that competes in a lower division.