The University of Iowa announced the departure of not one, but two players expected to be on the 2018-19 men's basketball roster. The first one comes, to me, as the biggest surprise.

Junior Ahmad Wagner is leaving the program to play football, and not at Iowa. Wagner, 6-foot-7 and 235-pounds, is going to finish the semester at Iowa and then decide where he'll transfer to continue his collegiate career in the new sport.

Wagner's production dipped from 4.8 points and 3.4 rebounds per game his sophomore season to 1.7 points and 1.7 rebounds per game during his just-completed junior campaign.

During his senior season at Wayne High School in Yellow Springs, Ohio, Wagner played wide receiver on the football team. He was first-team all-conference, all-state, and all-division. He caught 58 passes for 1,028 yards and 17 touchdowns for the team that won the state title.

In a release from the University of Iowa, Wagner said,

My plan now is to train and get my body into football shape so I can be ready for when I decide where I will finish my athletic and academic goals. Thank-you Hawkeye nation for your support and welcoming me when I first stepped onto campus.

Iowa v Ohio State
Kirk Irwin, Getty Images

The other player the Hawkeyes are losing is redshirt junior Brady Ellingson. A 6-foot-4 196-pound guard, Ellingson averaged 2.8 points and 1.1 assists per game during his junior season. He'll be transferring to another school for his senior campaign.

Ellingson, from Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, will graduate from Iowa in May with a degree in enterprise leadership. Brady made this statement in a release from the University of Iowa:

I am grateful to have had the opportunity to be a part of the Iowa basketball program the past four seasons. I look forward to pursuing an expanded role at another institution where I can achieve the goals I have as both a basketball player and student. I will take with me the memories and friendships created with my teammates. I also want to thank the Hawkeye fans for their support the last four years.

Iowa v Iowa State
David Purdy, Getty Images


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