IOWA CITY, Iowa — Another Iowa Hawkeye football player has declared for the 2019 NFL Draft.
Tight end TJ Hockenson confirmed Monday on Twitter that he’ll be leaving the program to follow his dreams.
After tremendous thought and consideration, I have made the decision to declare for the 2019 NFL draft. This was a very difficult decision because of the love and respect I have for the University of Iowa, Coach Kirk Ferentz and the entire coaching staff, along with my teammates, However, my dream has always been to play in the NFL and I believe now is the right time. I want to thank everyone in the Hawkeye Football program for challenging me to become a better player and person. And thank you to my parents, grandparents, two older brothers and younger sister for your unwavering support. I look forward to this next chapter and grateful that I was first and always will be an Iowa Hawkeye.
Hockenson won the John Mackey Award in December. It’s given to the best tight end in college football. He is the first sophomore to win the ward.
Hockenson is the second tight end from the 2018 team to declare for the draft. Noah Fant announced back in November that he would not play in the Outback Bowl because he intended to enter the NFL draft.
Hawkeye defensive end Anthony Nelson and defensive back Amani Hooker have also announced their plans to enter the draft.
Coach Kirk Ferentz issued a statement Monday morning commenting on the departure of Hockenson, Nelson, and Hooker.
“Amani, Anthony and T.J. have been outstanding members of our team on the field and as leaders within the program,” said Ferentz. “While we are disappointed to see them leave, we recognize this is an important decision and we wish them the very best as they pursue the draft.”