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Wegher ‘can’t wait’ to walk on at Oklahoma

[ 33 ] January 13, 2011 |

Former Iowa running back Brandon Wegher is planning to continue his football career as a walk-on for the Oklahoma Sooners.

“I can’t wait to get down there and get started,” the former Sioux City Heelan star said Thursday, “and be part of that tradition.”

Wegher rushed for 641 yards and an Iowa freshman record eight touchdowns in 2009, but left the team last summer for personal reasons.

After months of speculation about his future, the 5-foot-11, 206-pound Wegher was granted a scholarship release from the Hawkeyes in December.

Before making a run at joining the Sooners, Wegher considered Northern Iowa, Kansas, South Dakota and others.

“I’m just looking forward to getting down to Norman (Okla.), start training and getting to classes,” he said.

Kenny Mossman, Oklahoma’s associate athletic director for communications, said Thursday the school would not comment on Wegher’s status until it received clearance from the NCAA.

The Oklahoman newspaper reported Wegher would likely have to sit out next season because of NCAA transfer rules, leaving him with two years of eligibility remaining.

News of Wegher’s decision seemed to catch his father by surprise.

“Brandon is playing this one out himself,” Rick Wegher said, “and figuring things out for himself.”

Brandon Wegher earned all-state honors at Heelan while rushing for 6,825 career yards and 105 touchdowns.

He emerged as a key contributor to the Hawkeyes’ 11-2 run to the 2010 Orange Bowl, rushing for 113 yards and a touchdown during a 24-14 win over Georgia Tech.

Wegher’s role was expected to expand last season, but he departed after practices started in August.

“I just went through a lot of personal problems,” Wegher said. “There’s no hard feelings between the Hawkeyes and I – and vice-versa.

“I fought through those (problems) and talking with coach (Kirk) Ferentz, it was in my best interest to find somewhere else to play.”

Wegher’s off-field circumstances fueled Internet chatter, but he passed on a chance to clear up any message board speculation on Thursday.

“I know the rumors that are out there, and I’m not looking to put a stop to any of them,” Wegher said. “Things I went through are my personal issues, and they’re going to remain that way.”

The Sooners are coached by former Hawkeye player Bob Stoops.

Oklahoma is the reigning Big 12 champion, but top running back DeMarco Murray was a senior last season.

The projected starter this fall, Roy Finch, rushed for 398 yards as a freshman in 2010, but missed several games with an ankle injury.

“This was fully my decision,” Wegher said. “I’ve kind of kept things close to myself, just due to the fact there are a lot of rumors out there.”

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Category: Iowa Hawkeyes Football

About Andrew Logue: Andrew has been with the Des Moines Register for 19 years, covering everything from preps to Hawkeye and Cyclone sports, as well as the Drake Relays. View author profile.

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