Iowa junior center James Daniels will forgo his final year of college football eligibility and enter the 2018 NFL Draft, he announced via Instagram on Friday.
Iowa C James Daniels declares for NFL Draft
“My decision to attend the University of Iowa has been the best decision of my life,” Daniels said in the Instagram post. “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.”
Daniels, who is from Warren, Ohio, came to Iowa in 2015 as a 4-star recruit and the nation’s No. 6 center. Three seasons later, he’s one of the top NFL draft-eligible players at his position. ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. ranks the 6-foot-4, 295-pound prospect as the third-best center available in the 2018 draft. Fellow ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay rates Daniels as the second-best center and the No. 35 player overall.
In his Instagram post, Daniels thanked coach Kirk Ferentz and the entire Iowa staff, crediting them for developing him into the player he has become today. With their help, Daniels will have a chance to represent the Hawkeyes in the NFL.
In Daniels’ absence, Iowa can expect a fierce competition for the starting center spot between Keegan Render, Cole Banwart and Spencer Williams, among others.