IOWA CITY | When Iowa begins spring football practices next month, returning starter Nate Stanley will be the only quarterback on the field with any experience at the collegiate level.
Ryan Boyle on Friday became the second Hawkeye back-up in as many months to announce his departure from the Hawkeye program to seek playing time elsewhere as a graduate transfer.
“Ryan is a hard worker, a good teammate and a good student,’’ Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz said in a statement announcing that Boyle will earn his undergraduate degree in May and plans transfer to another program at that point.
The 6-foot-1, 208-pound West Des Moines, Iowa, native arrived at Iowa in 2015 as a two-time Iowa Gatorade player of the year after quarterbacking Dowling High School to the Class 4A state championship in 2013 and 2014.
He appeared in just one game during his three seasons at Iowa, lining up at receiver but recording no statistics during the Hawkeyes’ 42-3 win over Iowa State in 2016.
After redshirting as a quarterback in 2015, Boyle spent his redshirt freshman season at receiver in hopes of gaining playing time, but was unable to work his way into the rotation.
Boyle, who will have two years of eligibility remaining after he transfers, returned to quarterback prior to the 2017 season but did not see any playing time in a reserve role.
His departure comes after Tyler Wiegers earned his undergraduate degree from Iowa in December and enrolled last month at Eastern Michigan, where he is expected to contend for a starting role in his final year of eligibility.
Wiegers spent the past two seasons as the back-up to C.J. Beathard and Stanley, who guided Iowa to an 8-5 record as a sophomore last fall after beating out Wiegers for the starting role during fall camp.
Boyle’s skills as a dual-threat quarterback attracted scholarship offers from Western Michigan, Illinois State and Montana State during high school career before he initially committed to Iowa on March 26, 2014.
With the departure of Boyle and Wiegers, Iowa will open spring practices with four quarterbacks on the roster including two scholarship players, redshirt freshman Peyton Mansell and true freshman Spencer Petras, as well as junior walk-on Ryan Schmidt.
Mansell, a 6-3, 210-pound Texas native, arrived at Iowa last June while Petras, a 6-5, 207-pound California native, is enrolled in spring semester classes at Iowa as one of four newcomers to join the program at mid-year.