Justin Jinning, who redshirted last season, announced today on Instagram that he'll be leaving the Iowa football program.
Jinning, who was a three star prospect from Texas back in 2015, was likely gong to be staring an uphill battle in the face if he were looking for consistent playing time. When you consider guys like Josey Jewell, Ben Niemann, Aaron Mends, Jack Hockaday, Bo Bower and others were ahead of Jinning, he was going to have a tough time finding the field. None of the previous mentioned guys are set to graduate after the 2016 regular season and all are ahead of him on the depth chart.
Jinning also saw very little time during spring football. With Niemann sidelined, most of the extra playing time went to Bower and Hockaday. Inside linebacker Angelo Garbutt also saw significant action. Jinning did not.
Jinning's departure frees up another scholarship for Kirk Ferentz and the staff. Brandon Snyder, who is projected to be the starter at free safety this season is likely in line to earn one. He played well in his limited action a year ago and was a valuable contributor on special teams. He's settled into the starting role quite well throughout the spring portion of the football year.
Another possibility could be Noah Clayberg, who accepted a grayshirt offer from the Hawkeyes for the upcoming season. Ferentz could give both of these players a scholarship as he has plenty of options in front of him to address the situation. He could choose to stash a scholarship or two away to use for the 2017 recruiting class and beyond or reward some of the walk-ons currently on the roster.