Lashing out at Kadyn Proctor for flipping to Alabama should be beneath Iowa fans
By Pat Harty
IOWA CITY, Iowa – You could accuse Kadyn Proctor of being disloyal.
You could accuse his mother of choosing a money grab.
You could accuse Alabama of exploiting the lack of structure and supervision with name, image and likeness.
You could do all those things as some have on social media since news broke that Proctor was on the verge of flipping his verbal commitment to Alabama after having been committed to Iowa since late June.
Proctor made it official by announcing his commitment to Alabama Tuesday on Twitter.
If blaming somebody makes it easier for you to cope with Proctor not sticking with the Hawkeyes, then have at it.
But it looks bad, and it lets off the hook the people that probably deserve a big chunk of the blame for Iowa losing arguably the most heralded high school offensive lineman to ever come out of this state.
Those people would be Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz and his son, Iowa offensive coordinator Brian Ferentz.
They have allowed the Iowa offense to sink to a historically low level, and with that comes a price to pay in recruiting.
The 6-foot-8, 340-pound Proctor is widely regarded as the top offensive lineman in the 2023 senior class.
He helped lead Southeast Polk High School to back-to-back state titles as a junior and senior, and he would seem to be just what the ailing Iowa offensive line needs to get better.
For almost six months, Proctor had been committed to Iowa.
But a lot has changed in six months, and most of it for the worst on offense.
And while it’s true that Iowa’s performance on offense in 2021 left much to be desired, and yet Proctor still committed to Iowa, this season has been a disaster on offense for the most part.
The Iowa offense has become a national punchline and laughingstock, and yet, Iowa still almost won the Big Ten West Division for the second straight year because its defense and special teams have been rock solid.
Iowa (7-5) will face Kentucky (8-4) in the Music City Bowl on New Year’s Eve in Nashville, Tennessee and the first team to score 10 points could be victorious.
Iowa will be down to its third-string quarterback, while Kentucky will be down to its second-string quarterback.
But even with their starting quarterbacks, both offenses have struggled this season.
So, perhaps Kadyn Proctor is concerned about the future of the Iowa offense, and he just didn’t want to risk being part of it.
It’s easy to say stick with Iowa when you don’t have arguably the greatest dynasty in the history of college football pursuing you as is the case with Alabama under head coach Nick Saban.
And though Iowa has excelled at developing future NFL offensive linemen under Kirk Ferentz, many of whom were lightly recruited, so has Alabama under Saban, albeit under difference circumstances.
Saban has the luxury of recruiting the best players in the country and it’s hard to question the results, considering Alabama’s long and distinguished NFL pipeline and that it also has won six national titles under Saban.
Kirk Ferentz might do more with less, but Nick Saban does the most with the best.
Some Iowa fans are upset that Proctor waited so long to switch his commitment.
And while that does put the Iowa coaches in a difficult position, perhaps Proctor waited this long because he wasn’t sure what he wanted to do.
Maybe Proctor waited this long because it was so difficult for him to turn down the school from instate where his close friend and former high school teammate, Xavier Nwankpa, now plays defensive back.
Iowa obviously made a strong impression on Proctor or he wouldn’t have committed six months before the early signing period.
Verbal commitments aren’t official, however, so other schools were able to keep recruiting Proctor and it ultimately paid off for Alabama.
The nasty remarks on Twitter that have been directed at Proctor, and at his mother, are mean and petty and they make Iowa fans look bad, even though it’s just a loud minority that acts that way.
You would like to believe that most Iowa fans realize that Proctor, despite his mammoth size and talent, still is just a kid trying to make the most difficult decision in his life, a decision that could change the course of his life.
Fans can be disappointed without being disrespectful and rude.
Some of the comments on Twitter have just been so mean and nasty, just beyond any level of civility, and it’s embarrassing.
Every fan base has these kinds of fans, but that still doesn’t excuse the behavior.
If Alabama wooed him and his mother with a bunch of NIL money, well, that’s the world we now live in and it’s not going to change.
As great as Proctor is supposed to be, he still is just one player in what is considered the ultimate team sport.
Iowa is expected to sign at least 22 recruits during the early signing period on Wednesday, including four offensive linemen, so it’s business as usual.
The loss of Proctor will sting for a while, but there is no benefit to lashing out at him or at his mother.
The best way for Hawkeye fans to handle this setback is to wish Proctor well and then move on.
Unfortunately, Twitter makes it so easy for the critics to lash out and be heard.
What used to be talk around the water cooler at work, or at the dinner table, is now there for everybody to see just by pushing a button.
It would’ve been fun watching him develop as a Hawkeye.
But Proctor had to do what he felt was in his best interest.
And like so many other star recruits these days, he felt that playing for Nick Saban at Alabama would be in his best interest.
Kadyn Proctor isn’t disloyal or a traitor.
He’s an immensely talented recruit that couldn’t turn down a rare opportunity to join a dynasty.
It’s just unfortunate that it came at the expense of the Iowa football program.
But you can’t blame Proctor for doing what he feels is in his best interest.
Well, you can. It just looks bad.
Home away from home. Roll Tide 🙏🏾💕🐘 pic.twitter.com/hE9I9dnFxo
— Kadyn Proctor (@KadynProctor1) December 20, 2022