Nine months ago as his former teammates celebrated National Football League draft selections or free-agent deals, A.J. Epenesa posted a photo of himself and on-field mentor Parker Hesse on Instagram.
"Over the last three years I have had the awesome opportunity to play for the University of Iowa, " he wrote. I got to live my childhood dream and represent the Black and Gold. "After long discussion with my parents and loved ones I have made a decision to follow another childhood dream and enter into the 2020 NFL Draft". Widely regarded as one of the top prospects at his position in this year's draft class, Wirfs is now projected to be a top-15 pick in April.
Epenesa was a three-year starter at Iowa, piling up 26.5 sacks (including 11.5 in 2019), eight forced fumbles and eight passes defended to go along with 101 career tackles.
Iowa junior running back Toren Young announced Tuesday he is forgoing his final year of eligibility.
The Madison, Wis., native said he plans to graduate this spring and move on from college football.
Young rushed 81 times for 432 yards (5.3 per carry) and one TD, a smaller workload than his 136 carries for 637 yards and five touchdowns in 2018.