Barkley Hill is heading back to Cedar Falls.
The sophomore running back is leaving the Iowa football program, according to a statement released today by the university.
And Northern Iowa – located less than 2 miles from his former high school – is the most likely landing spot.
Panthers coach Mark Farley confirmed Hill is enrolled in classes at UNI, but gave no other details.
Iowa’s release also announced receivers Blake Haluska and A.J. Jones will not play for the Hawkeyes this fall.
Haluska, a senior, has been hampered by a shoulder injury.
“Blake’s injury will keep him from participating this fall,” Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz said in the statement. “Barkley and A.J. have elected to continue their careers elsewhere. We wish each of the three the best of luck moving forward with their careers.”
The 6-foot, 215-pound Hill was a prep all-American and was named the state’s Gatorade player of the year as a senior.
He rushed for more than 6,000 yards and scored 89 touchdowns in three seasons, helping Cedar Falls post a 30-6 record.
When Hill joined the Hawkeyes in 2012, he appeared to have a clear path to significant playing time.
But a knee injury led to a redshirt season, and by 2013 Iowa boasted a stable of talented ball carriers.
“Two years ago, when he got injured, it looked like he was going to play a lot,” Ferentz said last week during an I-Club gathering in Waterloo. “And I think he would have played a lot that year.
“It’s just interesting how fate can work.”
Hill did not see any game action last fall.
“He went to the back of the line at that point,” Ferentz said. “He did a good job rehabbing and he’s done a very nice job since he’s been back.
“It’s just one of those situations where we have a couple guys who have emerged.”
Iowa features three proven tailbacks, with others making a serious run at getting into the backfield during spring workouts.
Mark Weisman led the Hawkeyes last year with 975 yards on 227 carries, an average of 4.3 per attempt.
Jordan Canzeri followed with 481 yards on 74 carries (6.5) and Damon Bullock’s 467 on 118 (4.0).
Northern Iowa returns leading rusher David Johnson, who ran for 1,291 yards and 10 touchdowns last season.
The Panthers and Hawkeyes kick off the upcoming season Aug. 30 at Kinnick Stadium.