IOWA CITY, Iowa — Iowa cornerback Josh Jackson and center James Daniels are leaving to enter the NFL draft.
The school made the announcement on Friday. Eastern Michigan said this week that reserve quarterback Tyler Wiegers would join its program as a graduate transfer.
The loss of Jackson wasn’t much of a surprise for Iowa. He led the nation with eight interceptions and 26 passes defended last season and earned consensus first-team All-America honors in his first year as a starter.
The Hawkeyes went 8-5 this season and beat Boston College in the Pinstripe Bowl.
“Josh is another one of our great stories,” Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz said. “Josh had an outstanding year on the field, and has been a tremendous teammate. He has always had a great work ethic. He is a hard worker who had a positive attitude throughout his career.”
Daniels might be as big of a loss as Jackson. Daniels started 25 games in three seasons with the Hawkeyes, anchoring a line that struggled at times in 2016.
“James and Josh will do well in their testing and preparations for the NFL draft,” Ferentz said. “They will be high draft selections and have successful careers in the NFL. We wish both players our best and thank them for their contributions to our program.”
Wiegers lost a tight competition with sophomore Nate Stanley in the offseason and watched as Stanley threw for 26 TDs and just six interceptions. Wiegers threw just six passes in four years at Iowa. He earned his degree in December.
“I expect he will be a team leader at Eastern Michigan and a key contributor there next season,” Ferentz said.