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The Iowa backup quarterback says there might be some read option in the works. Chad Leistikow/HawkCentral

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Former Elite all-state quarterback Ryan Boyle has left the Iowa football team, the school announced on Friday.

The two-time Class 4A state title-winning signal-caller from West Des Moines Dowling Catholic will be earning his bachelor's degree in May and will be a graduate transfer from the Hawkeyes' program. 

“Ryan is a hard worker, a good teammate and a good student," Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz said in an athletic department statement.  "We wish Ryan academic and athletic success in the future."  

Boyle is the second quarterback to depart the program since the Pinstripe Bowl and leaves the Hawkeyes with just three scholarship quarterbacks — two being freshmen entering their first spring practices at Iowa.

Junior Nate Stanley (6-foot-5, 235 pounds) is the starting incumbent, with a clear path to another two years at the quarterback helm after throwing for 26 touchdowns and starting all 13 games in Iowa's 8-5 season. But spring ball will not take on an interesting and unexpected dynamic: The search for Stanley's backup.

The only two scholarship options are redshirt freshman Peyton Mansell (6-3, 210) and true freshman Spencer Petras (6-5, 225), who enrolled in January after a stellar senior season at Marin Catholic High School in California.

Boyle racked up 90 touchdowns — 45 rushing, 45 passing — and an incredible 7,609 yards from scrimmage, during his prolific high-school career. Boyle redshirted in 2015 as a quarterback prospect before switching to the wide receiver position during 2016 spring practice.

But Boyle saw game action only in the Hawkeyes' 42-3 Cy-Hawk victory over Iowa State, and he did not register any official statistics.

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Boyle (6-1, 208) talked with Ferentz last winter about his future in the program, and the two agreed to let Boyle give quarterback another go.

His prospects looked ominous from the start, however, with both Tyler Wiegers (now transferred to Eastern Michigan) and Stanley ahead of him on the depth chart.

“I’m just going to take it day by day and keep doing what I can,” Boyle said last August. “Progressing and learning the playbook the best I can. Hopefully just catch their eye.”

Yet he didn't see the field as a redshirt sophomore, either. He  was not listed on the Hawkeyes' post-spring depth chart while Stanley was cementing his role as the future for Iowa at the position.

Boyle would have two seasons of eligibility remaining if he were to play at another school.

Register columnist Chad Leistikow contributed to this report.

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