Both Iowa & Iowa State Football Teams Losing Stars to the NFL Draft
Two more players here in Iowa have decided to skip their senior seasons and enter the 2019 NFL draft.
Iowa State running back David Montgomery made the announcement on Twitter this morning.
According to a media release from Iowa State, Montgomery was third in the Big 12 at 101.3 rushing yards per game in 2018. His Iowa State career comes to a close with Montgomery sixth on the all-time rushing list with 2,925 yards. He's eighth in rushing touchdowns with 26. The two-time All-Big 12 selection hopes to become Iowa State's first running back drafted the NFL since Troy Davis in 1997.
Montgomery's impact was felt by the program and certainly by head coach Matt Campbell:
Monday night, Iowa State receiver Hakeem Butler also announced his intentions... more bad news for Cyclone fans.
Butler's junior season was a terrific one in Ames. He had nine touchdown receptions and more than 1300 yards receiving.
In Iowa City, the Hawks are losing another blossoming star. Defensive lineman Anthony Nelson has announced he's turning pro. His declaration came on Twitter Monday afternoon.
The 6-foot 7-inch Waukee, Iowa high school product recorded 31 tackles for loss and 23 sacks during his three-year Iowa career. He had 9 1/2 sacks this season. Iowa's starting defensive line for the 2018 team is now all gone. Parker Hesse, Matt Nelson, and Sam Brincks were all seniors. There is some great news on that front, though. A.J. Epenesa will return in 2019. Big Ten quarterbacks are already having nightmares thinking of his continued improvement.
That's three early entrants into the draft for Iowa, a record. Tight end Noah Fant, defensive back Amani Hooker had previously their intentions to skip their senior seasons in Iowa City. And Iowa may not be done. Tight end T.J. Hockenson, who won the Mackey Award for the nation's best tight end, still hasn't announced his decision. I'm betting he, too, takes it to the next level in 2019. The deadline for underclassmen to enter the draft is January 14, so we won't be waiting long.