Pella's Noah Clayberg leaving Hawkeye football program

Chad Leistikow
Hawk Central

Iowa freshman safety Noah Clayberg, who put together a remarkable athletic career at Pella High School, told the Register on Thursday that he is leaving the Hawkeye football program.

Clayberg said via text message that he would be looking to transfer to an FCS or NAIA program.

Noah Clayberg (33) got a lot of playing time in Iowa's 2017 spring game but was limited to special-teams duty during his freshman season.

Clayberg was a unique story with the Hawkeyes. The first "grayshirt" recruit in the Kirk Ferentz era paid for his own school in the fall of 2016 before joining the team last spring. This fall with true freshman eligibility, Clayberg played mostly on special teams and registered five tackles in nine games.

The 5-foot-11, 209-pounder began as a running back but transitioned to safety after Brandon Snyder was injured in April with a torn ACL. Clayberg surfaced into Iowa's two-deep at one point, but he was not among the five safeties who saw meaningful playing time during the Hawkeyes' 7-5 season.

Clayberg told the Register that wherever he ends up, he'll be playing offense at his next school. He was a quarterback as a Pella senior in 2015, when he was Iowa's Gatorade Player of the Year.

Clayberg is the first official Hawkeye transfer off the 2017 bowl roster.

The first early-signing day for football is Dec. 20.