By Pat Harty
IOWA CITY, Iowa - Even without Tristan Wirfs, the Iowa football team will have two of the Big Ten’s most experienced offensive tackles on its 2020 roster.
Iowa has added graduate transfer offensive lineman Coy Cronk, whose name showed up Wednesday morning in the university’s student directory.
Cronk had entered the transfer portal earlier this month.
A graduate of Central Catholic High School in Lafayette, Ind., Cronk started 40 games at Indiana, including the first four games this season before suffering a season-ending ankle injury.
Cronk took a redshirt this past season and that left him with one season of eligibility, which he now plans to use at Iowa.
His decision to transfer to Iowa comes in the wake of Wirfs having recently announced that he will skip his senior season to enter the 2020 NFL Draft.
Wirfs started for most of the past three seasons at right tackle, while senior-to-be Alaric Jackson has started at left tackle for the past three seasons when healthy.
The 6-foot-5, 325-pound Cronk started all his games at left tackle for Indiana, so it’s uncertain how he will fit in at Iowa with Jackson already in that spot.
What is certain, though, is that Iowa now has two offensive tackles on the roster who have combined for 74 career starts.
Jackson also made second-team All-Big Ten as a sophomore in 2018 and third-team this past season.
Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz met with the media on Monday, but didn’t mention Cronk’s situation when addressing the roster.
That could be because Ferentz didn’t want to discuss it publicly, or maybe it wasn’t official at that point.
Whatever the case, it’s not often that a player with Cronk’s experience transfers from one Big Ten school to another.
Indiana is also coming off an eight-win season and has made significant progress under head coach Tom Allen.
And yet, Cronk still chose to leave a school in his home state.
Iowa certainly has a reputation for developing star offensive linemen, with Wirfs the latest example.
The offensive line is also considered Kirk Ferentz’s area of expertise, so it makes sense why Cronk would be attracted to Iowa.
Iowa and Indiana also don't face each other next season.