Cornerback Manny Rugamba Leaving Iowa Program

July 9, 2018

Written by Rob Howe

Manny Rugamba sent up a social media flare last week when he Tweeted out a picture of a clock. Monday, he followed through on the warning.

The third-year junior-to-be announced on the platform that he was leaving the Hawkeyes and planned to transfer to another program.

Coach Kirk Ferentz prohibits his players from using Twitter. So, when Rugamba Tweeted last week, it was expected that he would no longer be a Hawkeye.

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Rugamba played as a true freshman in 2016. When an injury knocked out No. 1 cornerback Greg Mabin, he stepped in and started during an upset of Michigan. He recorded four tackles, broke up three passes and intercepted another in that contest.

He started the next two games of that regular season before an injury knocked him out of the Outback Bowl. He returned last season with big expectations with Iowa losing Mabin and fellow starter Desmond King to graduation.

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It got off on the wrong foot when Rugamba was suspended for the season opener for a violation of team rules. He returned to start the next three games before suffering a leg injury. He missed two games with it.

He came back to start the following four games but didn’t look completely healthy. He struggled in a 24-15 home loss against Purdue and was replaced in the starting lineup for the regular season finale at Nebraska.

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Star cornerback Josh Jackson left early for the NFL after last season, opening the door for Rugamba to reclaim his starting position. Instead, Matt Hankins and Michael Ojemudia came out of spring ball as the No. 1s.

Iowa has recruited well at cornerback in the last two cycles. Hankins played as a true freshman last season while classmates Trey Creamer and Josh Turner red shirted. D.J. Johnson, Julius Brents and Terry Roberts signed in the ’18 cycle and could push for playing time this fall.

Rugamba, who prepped at Naperville (IL) Central High, could play this coming season if he transfers down a level. If he stays in the FBS, he’ll need to sit a year and then have two years of eligibility remaining.

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