After starting at strong safety for the Hawkeyes the past three seasons, junior Tyler Sash is foregoing his final year of eligibility and entering the 2011 NFL Draft. The Oskaloosa native made the announcement via Twitter on Wednesday night.
"After much prayer and deliberation, I've decided now's the right time to go to the next level," said Sash. "Thanks Hawkeyes for all of your support."
Sash, who will be 23 years old this spring, redshirted his first year on campus and then moved into the starting lineup at strong safety in 2008. He earned freshman All American honors after finishing with 53 tackles and 5 interceptions on the year.
In 2009, Sash was named first team All Big Ten after racking up 85 tackles and leading the team with 6 interceptions. He also earned third team All American honors and was one of twelve semifinalists for the Jim Thorpe Award as the Hawkeyes finished 11-2 and won the Orange Bowl his sophomore year.
This past year, Sash repeated as a first team All Big Ten selection and had 79 tackles and 2 interceptions on the season. He was again on the watch list for several awards, including the Lott Trophy and a semifinalist for the Jim Thorpe Award for the second straight year.
Sash finishes his college career with 37 starts, including the last 34 consecutively. He is fifth on Iowa's all-time interception list with 13 and has the school record for interception return yardage at 392, which also ranks fourth all-time in Big Ten history.
The Oskaloosa native is the fourth Iowa player to leave early for the NFL Draft in recent years, joining Bryan Bulaga, Amari Spievey, and Shonn Greene. Two of Sash's teammates, Marvin McNutt and Shaun Prater, announced earlier this week that they will return for their senior year.