Iowa TE Noah Fant to forgo senior season, enter NFL draft

Iowa junior Noah Fant, a two-time All-Big Ten selection and the No. 1-ranked tight end on Mel Kiper Jr.'s Big Board, will enter the NFL draft and plans to skip the Hawkeyes' bowl game.

Fant announced his decision via Twitter to skip his senior season. He said in his statement that he would forgo the remainder of his eligibility, which would include Iowa's bowl game.

"We are disappointed Noah will not be finishing the season with his teammates," Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz said in a statement released by the university. "He is a tremendous athlete and we wish him the best as he pursues his goal of playing in the NFL."

Fant caught 39 passes for 519 yards and seven touchdowns this season, earning first-team all-conference honors from league coaches alongside teammate T.J. Hockenson, who was named the Big Ten's tight end of the year. Media selected Fant as a second-team pick.

A year ago, Fant set an Iowa position record with 11 touchdown catches to lead the nation.

His junior season was marked by some controversy over reduced playing time. Fant played just eight snaps in the second half of a 14-10 loss to Northwestern in Week 11. His brother Chris Fant, a high school coach in their hometown of Omaha, Nebraska, complained on social media early in the season about Noah Fant's usage.

Iowa (8-4) closed the regular season with a 31-28 victory against Nebraska on Nov. 23.