Sports, Monday, April 27th

By: Nathan Bloechl — 

Seven Hawkeyes Move to NFL:

Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz now can lay claim to the 75 draftees under his watch.

Five of his former team members were selected over the weekend as a part of the 2020 NFL Draft, undoubtedly one for the ages.

This year’s class was headlined by Mount Vernon standout OL Tristan Wirfs, who was selected 13th overall by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

A.J Epenesa heard his name called in the second round, where he went 54th overall to the Buffalo Bills.

Epenesa finished his career in Iowa City with 26.5 sacks and nine forced fumbles.

Corner Michael Ojemudia went in the third round, 77th overall to the Denver Broncos.

There, Ojemudia will join former teammate and Bronco 2019 first-rounder TE Noah Fant.

Two Hawkeyes were selected in the 7th round: safety Geno Stone and quarterback Nate Stanley.

Stone went 218th overall to the Baltimore Ravens, while Stanley went 244th to the Minnesota Vikings.

Tight end Nate Wieting signed a free agent contract with the Cleveland Browns, while linebacker Kristian Welch signed as an undrafted free agent with Baltimore, where he’ll join college teammate Geno Stone.

Five Cyclones Sign UDFA Deals:

Five Iowa State Cyclone football players signed undrafted free agent contracts, Saturday evening following the conclusion of the NFL Draft.

Long snapper Steve Wirtel is headed to the Motor City, to snap for the Lions. He headlines the group and was a legitimate late round candidate.

Linebacker Marcel Spears will head to Cincinnati, Julian Good-Jones is off  to the city of Brotherly Love, where he’ll compete for a spot with the Eagles, Josh Knipfel will join Spears in Cincinnati, while Ray Lima is heading to South Beach, inking a deal with the Miami Dolphins.

No Cyclones were selected in rounds 1-7.

UNI’s Green To Test NBA Waters:

Northern Iowa guard A.J. Green has declared for the 2020 NBA Draft, reports indicate.

Green will not sign an agent, maintaining his eligibility for Ben Jacobson’s squad.

The Cedar Falls standout poured in nearly 20 points per game along with three boards and three assists last season for the Panthers.

He shot 42% from the field, 39% from downtown and 92% from the line.

Green was named the 2020 Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Year, while being selected to the All-Missouri Valley team for the second straight season.

Green joins Iowa State’s Tyrese Haliburton and Iowa’ Luka Garza as in-state players who are attempting a jump to the NBA.

Wieskamp Returning for Junior Campaign:

On the contrary, rising sophomore Joe Wieskamp will return to Iowa City for his junior season, bypassing the NBA Draft process.

Wieskamp went through the NBA process last year as a freshman.

The Muscatine, Iowa native was a third-team All-Big Ten choice after averaging 14 points and 6.1 rebounds per game.

His return to the Hawkeyes would give a big boost in the event Luka Garza remains in the draft and does not opt to return for his senior season.