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James Daniels entering NFL Draft

James Daniels is leaving Iowa a year early and will enter the 2018 NFL Draft.
James Daniels is leaving Iowa a year early and will enter the 2018 NFL Draft.

More: How Daniels' departure affects the OL

Iowa center James Daniels will be leaving college a year early and entering the 2018 NFL Draft. The 6-foot-4, 295-pound junior, who is still only 20 years old, made his decision official today, announcing it on Instagram.

"My decision to attend the University of Iowa has been the best decision of my life," Daniels said in a statement. "I have had an incredible college experience with memories I will always cherish. I am grateful for my UI family and the connections 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 Polasek, 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!"

A four-star recruit coming out of Warren, OH in the Class of 2015, Daniels played right away as a true freshman at Iowa, first at guard initially and then anchored the offensive line as the starting center the past two seasons.

According to sources, Daniels received a second round grade from the NFL Draft Advisory Board this month. He is the second underclassmen from Iowa to declare for the draft, joining cornerback Josh Jackson, who announced his decision on Wednesday.