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IU football loses second running back in two weeks to transfer


Junior running back Alex Rodriguez runs the ball down the field for IU against Wisconsin on Nov. 4. Rodriguez will transfer from IU before next season.  Katie Franke Buy Photos

For the second time in two weeks, an IU running back announced his intention to transfer from the program.

Redshirt junior Alex Rodriguez tweeted his plans to transfer Tuesday afternoon for his final season of eligibility. This comes less than one week after sophomore running back Tyler Natee also said he planned to transfer.

Rodriguez appeared in all 12 games for IU this season and had 16 carries for 65 yards, both career highs. In his three years as a Hoosier, Rodriguez ran for 141 yards and one touchdown, which came in the 2015 Pinstripe Bowl. He was also named scout team player of the week 10 times with IU, including four times this season.

In a statement posted to Twitter, Rodriguez said he will finish his degree in Liberal Arts before transferring. He also thanked Coach Tom Allen and former IU Coach Kevin Wilson for putting him on scholarship after coming to IU as a walk-on.

"Although I will be transferring to another institution to continue graduate school and my playing career I will forever be thankful to my IU teammates, coaches and support staff," Rodriguez said in his tweet.

IU is expected to return its top four running backs from 2017, including freshmen Morgan Ellison and Cole Gest, who combined to rush for more than 1,100 yards this season. 

Juniors Mike Majette and Ricky Brookins, as well as sophomore Devonte Williams, could all provide depth at running back if they return. In addition, IU's highest-rated recruit for the 2018 class is four-star running back and Virginia native Ronnie Walker.

Jake Thomer

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