Iowa, Orange add grad transfers

By | July 6, 2017

Hawkeyes, Orange add grad transfers … Amid all the hoopla of the national celebrations earlier this week a couple of graduate transfers kind of slipped under the radar. Former Nevada RB James Butler transferred to Iowa as a graduate student and will be eligible for the 2017 season. The 5-9, 210-pound Butler has rushed for over 1,300 yards and 12 TDs last fall when he also had close to 400 receiving yards. Butler is expected to split time with returning starter Akrum Wadley, another senior who ran for almost 1,100 yards last year when ne averaged 6.4 yards per carry. Both are considered to be late round or free agent prospects for the upcoming draft. Meanwhile, veteran ILB Austin Valdez has transferred to Syracuse after three years at Bowling Green; he’s also a grad transfer who will be eligible this fall. The 6-0, 240-pound Valdez played under current Orange head coach Dino Babers with BGSU earlier in his career. Valdez was a first-team All-MAC linebacker in 2015 when he racked up 144 tackles, including 11 for loss, along with two interceptions, but saw his productivity dip significantly last year when he was slowed by a series of injuries. Like the two Iowa RBs, he’s a second-tier prospect for the upcoming draft.