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Iowa’s backfield unit has added some reinforcement.

Former Nevada running back James Butler announced Tuesday via Twitter that he’ll spend his final year of eligibility with the Hawkeyes. As a graduate transfer, Butler will be eligible for the 2017 season.

“With my hard work and dedication in the classroom, I’ve graduated in 3 years, I have decided to spend my last season of eligibility closer to home in front of my mother/family and attend the University of Iowa,” Butler wrote as part of his Twitter announcement. “This decision HAS NOT been an easy one to make but one that I felt is best for my family & I.

“I will always be born & battle ready and a proud ALUMNI of the University of Nevada. I want to thank you for everything you’ve done for me & wish you all nothing but the absolute best.”

Butler, who graduated high school in Wheaton, Ill., led the Wolf Pack in rushing last season with 1,336 ground yards and 12 touchdowns, also adding 381 receiving yards and three scores. He was an All-Mountain West honorable mention for the second straight year. Before deciding to transfer, the 5-foot-9, 210-pounder was named to Athlon Sports’ preseason All-Mountain West first team.

With former Iowa running back Derrick Mitchell Jr. announcing his transfer to Texas Tech in January, Butler, along with redshirt freshman Toren Young and sophomore Toks Akinrabade, will provide depth behind starter Akrum Wadley.

MORE: Leistikow: Predicting the Hawkeyes' Week 1 depth chart

Dargan Southard covers preps, recruiting, Iowa and UNI athletics for the Iowa City Press-Citizen, The Des Moines Register and HawkCentral.com. Email him at msouthard@gannett.com or follow him on Twitter at @Dargan_Southard.

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