Iowa quarterbacks room shrinks as Carson May enters NCAA transfer portal

Chad Leistikow
Des Moines Register

Carson May went from Iowa’s No. 4 quarterback to No. 2 quarterback in December. But two days after watching Joe Labas help deliver a 21-0 Music City Bowl win against Kentucky, May has entered the NCAA transfer portal.

May is the second Hawkeye quarterback to enter the portal since the end of the regular season, signaling the change that is coming at his position. Previous backup Alex Padilla entered the portal on Nov. 29, four days after Iowa’s 24-17 loss to Nebraska.

May is a 6-foot-4, 221-pound freshman from Jones, Oklahoma. He never took a game snap at Iowa and will have four years of eligibility remaining.

As for the Hawkeyes, the spring setup now becomes a lot more focused in the quarterback room. While we don’t yet know who will be running those meetings – offensive coordinator/QBs coach Brian Ferentz’s future is in question following a dismal year for the offense – the guys throwing the passes are pretty set. Labas and incoming Michigan transfer Cade McNamara will now get all of the developmental time this spring.

More:Leistikow: Projecting Iowa football's starters for 2023 season

And don’t forget, 31-game Iowa starter Spencer Petras will also be on the roster as he goes through rehabilitation after surgery to repair the rotator cuff and labrum in his right (throwing) shoulder. Petras does not plan to play for Iowa again, but he will be an asset as a player-coach as he prepares for his pro day in 2024. It’s unclear whether he will be on scholarship this spring. During an interview ahead of the Music City Bowl, Petras indicated he would continue to rehab and help the program next fall as well. The significant nature of his injury will keep him sidelined for six to 11 months, maybe longer.

McNamara’s health status isn’t entirely clear after having knee surgery in November. Head coach Kirk Ferentz on Dec. 21 offered optimism that McNamara would be fine and available for spring practice.

"We'll see how that goes once he gets here, but we're very confident he'll be fine," Ferentz said.

Prized incoming freshman recruit Marco Lainez of Princeton, New Jersey, comes aboard in June. And with Iowa already secure in Class of 2024 dual-threat recruit James Resar out of Tampa, the future of the QB room seems to be on solid footing even with May’s departure.

Carson May (3) was the backup at the Music City Bowl but did not play. He has four years' eligibility remaining.

More than likely, it’ll be McNamara No. 1, Labas No. 2 and Lainez scout team/No. 3 this summer and fall, with Petras helping out.