Ahmad Wagner leaves Iowa basketball team to pursue football career

Mark Emmert
Hawk Central

IOWA CITY, Ia. — Ahmad Wagner always brought a certain football mentality to the basketball court. Now the Iowa forward hopes to try it out on the gridiron.

Wagner announced Tuesday that he will leave the Hawkeye basketball program after three seasons in order to give college football a try. The 6-foot-7, 235-pound native of Ohio would have two years of eligibility in that sport if he remains at Iowa or goes to an FCS team. Wagner would have to sit out one year, and then play football for one, if he goes to an FBS school.

Iowa Hawkeyes forward Ahmad Wagner (0) commits an offensive foul against Illinois Fighting Illini guard Trent Frazier (1) during first half of a first game of the 2018 Big Ten Tournament at Madison Square Garden.

Wagner played in 96 career basketball games, starting 25. His value was primarily on defense. As a junior, Wagner averaged 1.7 points and 1.7 rebounds. Those numbers were down from a sophomore campaign that saw him average 4.8 points and 3.4 rebounds and earned the team’s Most Improved Player Award and the inaugural Kenny Arnold Hawkeye Spirit Award.

“My plan now is to train and get my body into football shape so I can be ready for when I decide where I will finish my athletic and academic goals," Wagner said in a university news release Tuesday. "Thank you Hawkeye nation for your support and welcoming me when I first stepped onto campus.”

Wagner was a three-sport athlete at Wayne High School in Yellow Springs, Ohio. He played wide receiver as a senior, helping lead the football team to the state title game. He garnered first-team all-state honors after hauling in 58 receptions for 1,028 yards and scoring 17 touchdowns.