Akrum Wadley moves up rushing list, now 4th Hawkeye RB with back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons

Dargan Southard
Hawk Central

It’s no secret that Akrum Wadley has been the heart and soul of Iowa’s offense all season. His latest effort again confirmed exactly that.

Iowa fullback Drake Kulick blocks for running back Akrum Wadley in Iowa's 56-14 win over Nebraska on Friday, Nov. 24, 2017, at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, Neb.

Entering Friday’s matchup at Nebraska needing 138 yards for 1,000 on the year, Wadley reached the coveted milestone midway through the third quarter on a 29-yard touchdown run, which handed the Hawkeyes a 35-14 lead en route to a 56-14 trouncing.

Coupled with last season’s 1,081-yard effort, Wadley is now just the fourth running back in Iowa history to eclipse 1,000 rushing yards in back-to-back seasons. He’s the first to do so since Fred Russell (2002-03). 

Although Wadley had been slowed in recent weeks — he ran for just 101 yards on 30 carries combined in losses to Wisconsin and Purdue — the Iowa senior found his groove early against one of the worst rush defenses in the Big Ten.

As part of a 159-yard day, Wadley ripped off a 20-yard TD in the first quarter and followed that up with two third-quarter scores, giving him 34 for his career. That’s two off Tavian Banks’ program lead of 36.   

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.