Iowa quarterback Deacon Hill enters transfer portal: What this means for Hawkeyes


IOWA CITY, Iowa — Quarterback Deacon Hill, who started nine games for Iowa last year, has entered the transfer portal with two years available, he announced via Instagram on Tuesday.

Hill, an incoming junior, was thrust into action last September when original Iowa starter Cade McNamara suffered a torn ACL early in the team’s fifth game against Michigan State. Hill presided over the Hawkeyes’ offense for the rest of the season, which ended with a 10-4 record and a Big Ten West Division title.

Last fall, the Hawkeyes finished with the nation’s last-ranked offense with 234.6 yards per game. The second-lowest belonged to Eastern Michigan at 262.8 yards per game. In fact, Iowa’s output was the lowest for any Big Ten team since Northwestern (230.2) in 1984.

Outside of former offensive coordinator Brian Ferentz, whose contract was not renewed, no person beyond Hill (6-foot-3, 258 pounds) shouldered more of the blame and spotlight for Iowa’s offensive woes. Hill completed 48.6 percent of his passes for 1,152 yards, five touchdowns and eight interceptions last year.

Hill had 11 fumbles and lost six, including at least one lost fumble in all four of Iowa’s losses. The Hawkeyes were shut out in their final two games last year.

In a statement, Hill thanked his former coaches and teammates. He added, “Iowa, you have given me one of the best years of my life. I have built some of the most important relationships in my life and I am eternally grateful for that.”

Hill transferred to Iowa in spring 2023 after two seasons at Wisconsin.

With McNamara still rehabbing his left knee, Hill and redshirt freshman Marco Lainez III were the only available scholarship quarterbacks to run new offensive coordinator Tim Lester’s offense this spring. Hill worked primarily with the first team, while Lainez took snaps with both the second and third units.

With incoming freshman James Resar of Jacksonville, Fla., entering the fold in June, the Hawkeyes will have three quarterbacks available for summer workouts. There’s a strong likelihood that Iowa will sign another quarterback from the transfer portal to compete with McNamara and Lainez during training camp.

“We’ll do anything we can to help our team,” Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz said about signing players from the portal. “If an opportunity presents itself that makes sense, we’ll consider it.”

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(Photo: Julio Aguilar / Getty Images)

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