Eno Benjamin’s decommitment from Iowa on Sunday night after five months of hype and recruiting help was painful enough, but the highly regarded evaluators at Rivals.com are rubbing salt in the wound.
Rivals’ national recruiting director Mike Farrell wrote Tuesday that Benjamin’s departure was the biggest in the country so far for the class of 2017.
“Texas running back Eno Benjamin was, to me, such a great fit for the Iowa Hawkeyes and what they like to do on offense that his decommitment this weekend was a tough one,” Farrell said in a post bluntly titled, ‘Biggest 2017 decommitment?’
The four-star back is a U.S. Army All-American selection from Wylie, Texas, a suburb northeast of Dallas. He was rated highest in 2017 by Rivals – No. 7 running back nationally, No. 107 overall – and even came in high enough through the 247 Sports Composite to be Iowa’s top offensive recruit since Rodney Coe committed in 2011.
After an apparent spat over Iowa’s policy for verbal commits not taking other college visits, Benjamin publicly re-opened his recruitment on Sunday. He reportedly visited Missouri and Arizona State and is slated to visit Michigan in November. By NCAA rule, Iowa coaches are not allowed to comment on unsigned recruits.
“Watch out, because this likely won’t be the last decommitment Iowa suffers this cycle from a Texas prospect,” Farrell continued. “Benjamin was not only the perfect fit, but he was the leader of the pack in Texas for the Hawkeyes and others could follow him out the door.”
Farrell argued for Benjamin as national recruiting analyst Adam Gorney chose the nation’s top quarterback, Hunter Johnson, as the biggest 2017 decommit. Sunday’s ultimate impact is what has Hawkeye fans hurting and Farrell picking Benjamin as his biggest loss.
“The alone could make this worse than any of the others, especially for a program that doesn’t draw four-stars like LSU, Tennessee and Texas A&M on a regular basis,” he wrote.
You can check out the entire Rivals story here: “Rival Views: Biggest 2017 decommitment?”
For what it’s worth, the decommitment dropped Iowa from No. 25 to No. 32 in Rivals’ team rankings.