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Iowa C James Daniels Heading To NFL Draft

Iowa football players walk out onto the field.

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - JANUARY 05: The Iowa Hawkeyes take the field in front of their fans against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets during the FedEx Orange Bowl at Land Shark Stadium on January 5, 2010 in Miami Gardens, Florida. Iowa won 24-14. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

Iowa center James Daniels announced that he will forego his senior season and head to the NFL Draft.

James Daniels has been a strong starter for the Hawkeyes for a few years. In 2016, as a sophomore, he was a third-team All-Big Ten player, and he was an honorable mention selection this season, despite missing time for injury.

He submitted his name to the NFL draft advisory board, and received a top-two round evaluation. Now, he's off to the pros.

Daniels announced that he'll be entering the 2018 NFL Draft on Friday.

His letter:

"My decision to attend the University of Iowa has been the best decision of my life. I have had an incredible college experience with memories I will always cherish. I am grateful for my UI family and the connections that will last a lifetime.

After praying about this and discussing the options with my family and coaches, I have decided to declare for early entry in the 2018 NFL Draft.

To Coach Ferentz - thank you for taking a 17-year old kid and shaping me into the man I have become. To my position coaches, Brian Ferentz and Tim Palasek, thank you for being instrumental in my development. To Coach Doyle and the strength staff, thank you for molding me into the football player I have become.

I would like to express my gratitude to the university academic staff for their support. I have a few classes left to complete my degree and I look forward to representing the University of Iowa in the NFL and beyond.

Thank you Iowa City and Hawkeye Nation!

Once A Hawkeye, Always A Hawkeye!

Respectfully,

James Daniel"

Ferentz complimented Daniel on his Iowa career in a statement.

“James was very skilled and mature when he joined our program out of high school,” Ferentz said in a statement. “It is unusual for a true freshman to step in immediately, but he is a positive guy who had the ability to do so. He has been a good student and teammate throughout his career.”

According to The Gazette, his strong evaluation from the draft advisory board, and recent injury history probably informed the decision.

The draft advisory board gives players what essentially are three grades — round 1, round 2 and stay in school. Daniels received one of the first two. Pair this with the fact that Daniels has missed games and practice time with knee issues, and a decision to go early makes more and more sense. Daniels missed 2016 spring practice after a knee surgery.

James Daniels is the second Iowa star to make this decision. Earlier this week, cornerback Josh Jackson also announced that he will be declaring for the draft early.