Hawkeye Star Cooper DeJean Taking His Talents to the NFL
Cooper DeJean's time with the University of Iowa football team was filled with jaw-dropping highlights. It was natural for Hawkeye fans to want one more season of them. But Iowa's best player has decided that his future in the NFL will begin now.
DeJean announced via social media on Thursday that he will forgo his remaining college eligibility and make himself available for this spring's NFL Draft. The Cedar Rapids Gazette reports that DeJean stated that "the past three years have been filled with memories that will last a lifetime."
The Gazette points out that even though DeJean missed the final two regular season games due to injury, he still earned unanimous All-American honors. He was named the Big Ten Defensive Back and Kick Returner of the Year. DeJean had two interceptions on the year and one punt return for a touchdown. But he got more attention for a play that didn't count but should have, against Minnesota.
Pundits and football fans across the nation agreed. It wasn't a fair catch. The play should have counted and Iowa should have tallied 11 wins this season instead of 10.
I've said it before and I'll say it again now. I can't blame a player for moving on to the NFL, especially when you're getting the kind of love that Cooper DeJean is from draft experts. The Gazette reports that ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr. has DeJean ranked as the 13th-best overall prospect and the number-one corner in this year's NFL Draft class. He would be Iowa's fourth first-round selection in the past three years.
It isn't the goodbye that Iowa fans wanted. We wanted to see Cooper on the field one more time. Exciting us with another pick-six or punt return. Now we'll get to cheer for him on Sundays. Congratulations Cooper on an amazing Iowa career!
Iowa Football's Unanimous Consensus All-Americans
Gallery Credit: Getty Images
University of Iowa ANF Wall of Honor Members
Gallery Credit: HawkeyeSports.com/Getty Images