Rumors of recruiting discontent in Iowa’s 2017 class resulted in a major four-star decommittment on Sunday night.
Eno Benjamin of Wylie, Texas pledged to the Hawkeyes in April and was integral in drawing other prospects to Iowa City, but his own recruitment hit recent bumps, and the running back put himself back on the market.
The 5-foot-9, 204-pound senior is a U.S. Army All-American and the 247Sports Composite rates him as the No. 159 overall prospect, nationally.
Benjamin and fellow Dallas-area four-star Chevin Calloway made waves among Iowa commits this month when they agreed to take visits to other schools. Under head coach Kirk Ferentz, the Hawkeyes have long stated that with a verbal commitment comes the agreement that a recruit isn’t to make other campus visits.
According to Rivals, Benjamin has more than 25 FBS scholarship offers. On the list of potential suitors: Michigan, Cal, Colorado, Miami (Fla.) and Arizona State, which earned a visit earlier this month.
Benjamin and Calloway were not pulled out of Iowa’s class, but Wylie East’s physical back removed himself on Sunday.
“There’s policies and then there’s rules,” Ferentz said of the issue on Tuesday. “Policies are policies. You can break policies. There’s no penalty. But rules are rules.”
Benjamin had been an advocate for Iowa since his April verbal. His recruitment was led by wide receivers coach Bobby Kennedy, and once he joined the group, he took an unofficial recruiting role himself.
Iowa has five other Texans among the 16 remaining players in the 2017 class. Benjamin would routinely text and make Twitter posts about fellow recruits and Hawkeye targets.
“I think he’s huge in the whole pipeline to Texas right now,” Texas-based Rivals.com analyst Nick Krueger told the Register in June. “Once you start talking to him, he’s really a personable dude. It’s easy to see if guys are persuaded from the perspective of having another recruit talk to them. He’s definitely the type of guy who can get it done.”
Now, Iowa will have to wait and see how many other commitments fall with the leading four-star stepping away.