The Hawkeye football program made a splash just days before the transfer portal officially opened. Michigan transfer Cade McNamara announced he was committing to Iowa on December 1st, just four days before the portal opened. His addition to the program is a perfect combination. McNamara brings both a great cultural fit and an upgrade at quarterback talent. Transfer portal needs at wide receiver are now the goal for the Iowa offense. Rumors of McNamara wanting to bring multiple pass catchers with him began circling just hours after his commitment.
On the first day of the official transfer portal window, Iowa lost two of its key receivers. Both Keagan Johnson and Arland Bruce IV announced their intentions to leave Iowa and were officially added to the transfer portal on December 5th. Now, the program is active in the portal and these are some names the Hawkeyes should have their eyes on.
One of the early names to come up in the search for receivers was Isaac TeSlaa of Hillsdale College. The Division II program has had ties with Iowa in the past. Former Hawkeye defensive lineman Zack VanValkenburg transferred to Iowa after playing two seasons at Hillsdale in 2017 and 2018. Eyes are now on TeSlaa in this year’s portal window.
In his third year in the program, TeSlaa caught 68 passes this past season for 1,325 yards and 13 touchdowns. His reception numbers earned him GMAC Offensive Player of the Year awards. TeSlaa has received attention from Central Michigan, Arkansas State, and others, but his primary interests are Iowa and Iowa State. Last weekend, he officially visited Iowa State, confirming his top two choices in the Hawkeyes and the Cyclones. He will have two years of eligibility remaining.
Out of Western Michigan, Corey Crooms should be one of Iowa’s targets at wide receiver. Crooms played all 13 games for the Broncos this past season, tallying 57 receptions, 814 yards, and five touchdowns. He had similar numbers the year before with 44 receptions, 768 yards, and six scores. The wide-out has been a consistent member of Western Michigan’s passing offense and has the tangible skills to bring that to the Power Five level at Iowa.
He would be a good fit in the offense given the recent departure of Bruce IV into the portal. Bruce IV contributed both in the passing offense and the run game. Crooms has a very similar size to Bruce IV at 5’-10” and 185 pounds. Although Crooms wasn’t a factor in the Broncos’ run game while in Kalamazoo, he has the speed to be utilized in both phases of Iowa’s offense. He could be a pivotal addition from the portal for Iowa’s receiver needs. Crooms will have one year of eligibility after he finds a new school.
Former Michigan tight end Erick All announced his entry into the transfer portal on Monday. All was the former roommate of McNamara during their time at Michigan in the 2021 season. All dealt with injury during the 2022 season and only saw the field in just three games.
In Michigan’s first College Football Playoff season of 2021, All was the team’s second-leading receiver. That year, he had 437 yards on 38 catches and two touchdowns. One of his scores came in the Big Ten title game against Iowa. Given the chemistry that he and McNamara developed in Ann Arbor, All could be a vital addition to the Iowa offense. Iowa’s Luke Lachey is likely to move into the number one spot at the position, and current backup Addison Ostrenga was a true freshman in 2022. Going after a player such as All can bring a secondary pass catcher with veteran experience to the line. If a medical redshirt is granted, All will have up to two seasons of eligibility remaining.
The fourth guy on the list of targets for Iowa is Seth Anderson of Charleston Southern. The current redshirt freshman had a solid season for the Buccaneers. He tallied 612 yards on 42 receptions for six touchdowns in 2022. Charleston Southern is an FCS school in South Carolina, and Anderson earned Big South Offensive Freshman of the Year honors following the season.
Anderson could be a great addition to the Hawkeye offense with new quarterback McNamara. The Iowa program extended an offer to him on Tuesday, December 6th. The 6’-0” wide-out has great hands and has shown a unique ability to high-point the ball in tight coverage. It’s a big jump from the FCS to the Big Ten, but he has a high upside potential in what could be beneficial for Iowa’s receiver needs if they land him from the transfer portal. Anderson will have three years of eligibility remaining after he finds a new home.