Scheel ends Hawkeye football career

Mark Emmert

Jay Scheel’s Iowa football career has ended before it could really get off the ground.

The junior wide receiver announced on his Instagram account Sunday that he is calling it quits because of health concerns.

“Sad to announce that I will no longer be playing the game that has taught me so much about myself and life,” Scheel wrote. “After previously having two operations done on each knee and now finding another problem, I’ve decided to stop playing. This was the most difficult decision in my life up to this point, but it’s what’s best for my health.”


Iowa wide receiver Jay Scheel couldn't quite come up with this catch against  Wisconsin in October. The junior announced Sunday that he was ending his playing career due to injury concerns.

Scheel didn't disclose what the new injury problem was.

Scheel, a native of Mount Auburn, played in 12 games for the Hawkeyes as a redshirt sophomore, including the Outback Bowl loss Jan. 2. He finished with five catches for 56 yards and one carry for another four. He also proved to be a physical downfield blocker at times, notably helping spring Akrum Wadley for a long touchdown run at Purdue.

But his injuries kept him from fulfilling the promise that he many felt he had after a standout career as a quarterback at Union High School. His coaches and teammates repeatedly spoke of how athletically gifted the 6-foot-1, 195-pound Scheel was, and he showed flashes of his potential during spring scrimmages, earning a starting spot heading into the 2016 season.

Scheel’s departure leaves Iowa with only three wide receivers who caught passes last season — Matt VandeBerg, Jerminic Smith and Ronald Nash.

“I wish my last season playing football hadn’t gone the way it did, but there’s more to life than statistics,” Scheel wrote.

Scheel, 20, is a biology major.