Running back Toren Young foregoes his final season as a Hawkeye

Mark Emmert
Hawk Central

Toren Young, a running back who was always among Iowa's leaders but who saw his playing time diminish last season, announced Tuesday that he will not play for the Hawkeyes in 2020.

The redshirt junior had one season of eligibility remaining.

Young posted on social media that he will spend the spring finishing his degree in sport and recreation management. He also plans to prepare for his "professional life both on and off the field," an indication that he plans to pursue an NFL career. He is unlikely to be drafted.

The native of Madison, Wisconsin, arrived at Iowa in 2016 and took his redshirt season. By the following year, he was named to the Hawkeyes' Leadership Group, one of only two redshirt freshmen given that honor. In 2018, he was the only sophomore on that group.

Young also was chosen to represent the Hawkeyes at the Big Ten Conference media days events in Chicago last summer, a rare distinction for a junior.

Young, a 5-foot-11 and 223 pounds, was the power runner in Iowa's backfield, known for pushing a pile of defenders backward more than his elusiveness or speed. He ran for 193 yards as a freshman and 637 as a sophomore, when Mekhi Sargent eventually emerged as Iowa's featured back.

Iowa running back Toren Young runs the ball in the fourth quarter against USC during the Holiday Bowl on Friday, Dec. 27, 2019, at the SDCCU Stadium in San Diego, Calif.

Last year, it was true freshman Tyler Goodson who ascended up the depth chart at running back and led the Hawkeyes in rushing yards with 638.

Young ran for 432 yards, but was an afterthought by season's end. He did not play against Minnesota and got only three carries each in season-ending wins over Illinois and Nebraska. In Young's final game in a Hawkeye uniform, a 49-24 win over USC in the Holiday Bowl, he carried four times for 18 yards.

Young's departure solidifies Goodson as Iowa's top running threat heading into the 2020 season. Sargent, who ran for 563 yards, has one year of eligibility remaining.

Mark Emmert covers the Iowa Hawkeyes for the Register. Reach him at or 319-339-7367. Follow him on Twitter at @MarkEmmert.

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