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Snyder leaves Hawkeyes, Wirfs suspended for opener

Iowa defensive back Brandon Snyder, center, walks on the field with teammates during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Illinois, Saturday, Oct. 7, 2017, in Iowa City, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Iowa senior safety Brandon Snyder is leaving the program as a graduate transfer and offensive lineman Tristan Wirfs will be suspended for the season opener after getting charged with intoxicated driving.

Posted: Jul 31, 2018 12:59 PM

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Iowa senior safety Brandon Snyder is leaving the program as a graduate transfer and offensive lineman Tristan Wirfs will be suspended for the season opener after getting charged with intoxicated driving.

Hawkeyes coach Kirk Ferentz announced both moves on Tuesday.

Snyder's departure was a bit of a surprise. The Larchwood, Iowa, native spent most of the past two years working his way back onto the field after twice tearing the ACL in his left knee.

Snyder returned last season and brought back an interception 89 yards for a touchdown in his debut against Illinois, but he re-injured his knee in the same game.

Snyder was then suspended for last season's Pinstripe Bowl after being charged with drunken driving. He was expected to be ready to compete for playing time when the season starts on Sept. 1 against Northern Illinois.

The loss of Snyder will likely elevate fellow senior Jake Gervase to a starting job — though the Hawkeyes (8-5 in 2018) have a number of young prospects in the secondary.

"Brandon is a fifth-year senior who has earned his undergraduate degree and wants to see as much playing time as possible," Ferentz said. "We are allowing him to be released, which means he can play for another team immediately."

Wirfs, a 19-year-old sophomore who is expected to start at right tackle, was arrested over the weekend. Police say Wirfs was driving a scooter and failed a field sobriety test with a 0.129 blood-alcohol level. In Iowa, the legal limit is 0.08 but for those under 21 the limit is 0.02.

Wirfs, who's from Mount Vernon, Iowa, was the first true freshman to ever start at offensive tackle under Ferentz, now in his 20th season at Iowa. He and fellow sophomore Alaric Jackson are expected to man the tackle spots for Iowa in 2018.

Last week, defensive lineman Brady Reiff was arrested after Iowa City police say mistook a police car for an Uber. Police say he registered a blood-alcohol content of 0.204.

Ferentz will meet with reporters on Aug. 10 during the team's annual media day.

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More college football news at www.collegefootball.ap.org

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