Iowa Football: Underrated Mekhi Sargent deserves more recognition

Running back Mekhi Sargent is an underrated part of the Iowa Hawkeyes offense. Sargent deserves more recognition for his efforts.

Iowa football has enjoyed immense success on the ground this season. While Tyler Goodson may get the bulk of the rushing attempts, and in turn, the majority of the praise, fellow running back Mekhi Sargent deserves his turn in the lime light.

On Saturday against Penn State, Sargent (5-9, 209) became just the 17th player in Iowa’s program history to score 20 touchdowns. Sargent ran in two scores against the Nittany Lions, aiding Iowa in a 41-21 blowout victory. It’s the first time since 2015 that Iowa has scored 30 or more points in three consecutive contests.

Sargent now has six rushing touchdowns this season, tied with Goodson for second-most in the Big Ten. Over their last three games, the two dynamic runners have combined for 10 rushing touchdowns. Both were named to the Doak Walker award preseason watch list.

Sargent, who hails from Key West, FL, joined the Hawkeyes in 2018 after transferring from Iowa Western Community College. On the season, the redshirt senior has racked up 309 rushing yards on 48 carries while averaging a career-high 6.4 yards per attempt. It’s fair to say Sargent is having the best season of his college career.

Sargent may not be the first option in the Iowa backfield, but he’s as good a running back as any in the Big Ten. In fact, it’s probably fair to say Sargent would be starting for 90 percent of FBS teams. It just so happens the Hawkeyes have a superstar ahead of him in Goodson.

The Hawkeyes have just three regular season games remaining, including an add-on during Big Ten Championship week. Iowa is also likely to appear in a bowl game. That’s five more games, which means five more opportunities for Sargent to break his single-season record of 10 touchdowns in a season. Maybe by then he’ll gain more notoriety.