SIOUX CITY – Two wins into a new season and heading toward a challenging road game at No. 24 Arizona on Saturday, the ninth-ranked Iowa Hawkeyes continue to work toward some lofty goals.
Meanwhile, the rumor mill refuses to quit grinding with regard to running back Brandon Wegher, the sophomore from Bishop Heelan who is taking a leave of absence from the Iowa football team.
Wednesday’s latest report was the revival of a golden oldie, suggesting Wegher will be transferring to the University of South Dakota, barely 30 miles from his parents’ home in Dakota Dunes.
Responding patiently to these reports was Rick Wegher, Brandon’s father and a former All-American running back at South Dakota State.
“No, he’s going to Iowa, he’s enrolled at Iowa, going to school at Iowa, trying to get things turned around,’’ said the elder Wegher, a former East High all-stater.
Amil Anderson, sports information coordinator for football at USD, had a terse reply to an e-mail from’the Journal.
“Heard that a long time ago,’’ answered Anderson. “Not true.’’
Rick Wegher said he has left the football future in the hands of his son, who broke the single-season Iowa high school rushing record two seasons ago (3,238 yards) and then rewrote the Hawkeyes’ mark for rushing yards by a true freshman last fall (641).
“It’s in his court, he’s got to make that decision,’’ said the prominent Dakota Dunes developer. “I haven’t talked to him probably in three weeks. I do know he’s going to school and doing the things in life right now that are important.
“These are steps he’s got to take and we’re allowing him to take them. I hope he stays at Iowa and I hope he plays again for Iowa eventually. He’s just living life and trying to get through it; trying to figure out little things in life that are important, too.’’
Adam Robinson, who rotated at running back with Wegher last season as a redshirt freshman, has been sharing the job this fall with another redshirt sophomore, Jewel Hampton, who missed last season with a knee injury.
Robinson, Hampton and Brandon Wegher, whose eight touchdowns last season were a Hawkeye record for all freshmen, redshirt athletes or true frosh, were expected to wage a three-way battle for the job this season.
Since he played in his first year on campus last fall, Wegher could still take a redshirt this fall and have three seasons of eligibility remaining.
By Terry Hersomthersom, Sioux City Journal – shared via the Associated Press