Iowa Quarterback Alex Padilla Enters Transfer Portal
Iowa Hawkeye quarterback and redshirt junior Alex Padilla entered his name into the transfer portal on November 29th. The fourth-year player from Greenwood Village, Colorado played three seasons for Iowa after redshirting his 2019 season. Padilla saw action in 11 games throughout his tenure at Iowa, throwing for three touchdowns and four interceptions.
Padilla kept the 2021 football season from coming off the rails after starter Spencer Petras was injured in their game at Wisconsin. Iowa’s loss to the Badgers marked two losses in a row and halted the successful 6-0 start. Padilla entered the game on the road against Northwestern the following week and led the Hawkeyes to a 17-12 victory, getting the team’s seventh win. He started the next two games against rival Minnesota and Illinois, leading the team to two hard-fought wins at home. These victories set the Hawkeyes up in a position to win the Big Ten West in 2021, but they would need some help. During that two-game stretch, Padilla was 17 of 42 passing with two touchdowns and an interception.
His next game came against Nebraska, and Iowa got off to a slow start. Padilla was pulled after the half in favor of Petras, who orchestrated a comeback victory. The Hawkeyes found their way to Indianapolis that season to play Michigan in the Big Ten title game. Another poor start for the team behind Petras had the offense looking for answers. They made the switch to Padilla at quarterback on their second series of the third quarter. Already down 21-3 at the time, Padilla was in a very tough spot.
Padilla’s Limited 2022
That trend for Padilla continued into 2022. Despite the Iowa offense’s historically poor performance to begin the year, they stuck with their starter Petras. Even during the team’s mighty struggles at Illinois, Padilla did not see the field. Things became more uncomfortable during the bye week. When offensive coordinator Brian Ferentz was asked about the downside of trying Padilla at quarterback, he responded, “What’s the upside?” This follow-up comment felt like a huge discredit to Padilla, given his contributions to the team in 2021 when they needed him on the field.
After the bye week, Iowa went to Ohio State and faced an insurmountable deficit to begin the second half. It was then that Padilla was placed into the game. Like the Big Ten championship game of 2021, Padilla was put in a spot where success was almost impossible. Heading into the next weekend, Padilla and Petras were listed on the depth chart with an “OR” between their names. Again, the coaching staff didn’t grant Padilla a true shot at the starting role.
He wouldn’t see the field again until Petras suffered an injury early in the Heroes Game against Nebraska. After the team got down 24-0, a comeback seemed out of the question. In spite of his limited action all season, Padilla led the team on a 17-point run that had the Hawkeyes with the ball with six minutes to play down seven points. Unfortunately, the comeback effort fell short and Iowa lost. However, Padilla’s effort, again in a very tough position, brought the team into striking position to complete the comeback.
Alex Padilla Enters Transfer Portal
Padilla’s pocket mobility and Big Ten playing experience are huge upside factors in the transfer portal market. Padilla entered the Iowa program as a three-star recruit. His limited playing time at Iowa has him yet to reach his full upside. However, the performance he had in 2021 to lead the team to three crucial victories and his comeback performance against Nebraska leave this fourth-year player with great potential in a new program. Padilla will have two years of eligibility remaining, including his COVID-19 year after he transfers.