Manny Rugamba runs toward the sideline during the game between Iowa and Penn State at Kinnick Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017. Both teams are going into the game undefeated with records of 3-0. (Ben Smith/The Daily Iowan)

Manny Rugamba leaving Iowa football program

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The Hawkeye cornerback took to Twitter Monday to announce his departure from the football team.

By Adam Hensley

adam-hensley@uiowa.edu

Manny Rugamba was seen by many as the hero during Iowa’s upset win over No. 3 Michigan in 2016. Now, Hawkeye fans won’t see him in Black and Gold again.

On July 9, the junior cornerback announced that he would leave the Iowa program and will look to play somewhere else.

“I would like to first thank the whole Iowa coaching staff for the last two years of life lessons both on and off the field,’ he wrote. “The relationships I’ve made are some that will last a lifetime. With that being said, I have opened my recruitment and plan to transfer and find another home this fall.”

Many viewed Rugamba as Iowa’s top corner heading into last season, but he missed the season-opener against Wyoming because of a violation of team rules (which was never specified). From there, Josh Jackson emerged as the top defensive back on the team, and Matt Hankins eventually went on to win the job as the No. 2 corner by the season’s conclusion.

Iowa’s spring depth charts featured Hankins as the starting left corner, while Michael Ojemudia held the right-corner spot. Rugamba was listed behind Ojemudia on the right side.

In 2017, Rugamba notched 36 tackles (31 solo), defended 4 passes, and recovered a fumble.

The season before, Rugamba burst onto the scene as a true freshman with a 4-tackle, 1-interception performances against the Wolverines on Nov. 19.

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