Jackson still weighing his NFL decision


Iowa cornerback Josh Jackson speaks with members of the media on December 29, 2017. Jackson said he will announce his decision on whether or not to go pro or stay for his senior year after the Pinstripe Bowl on Dec. 27. (Adam Hensley/The Daily Iowan)

Adam Hensley, [email protected]

Iowa cornerback Josh Jackson said he’s 50-50 whether he’ll remain a Hawkeye for another season or enter his name into the NFL Draft.

“I’ve definitely thought about it,” he said. “I’ll probably make an announcement after the bowl game. I’ve talked with Coach a little bit about it.”

Following the Pinstripe Bowl against Boston College on Dec. 27, the junior will have a tough decision to make, considering the love he received from NFL scouts and various media outlets around the country.

After his 3-interception performance against Ohio State, Jackson was tabbed as the No. 22 player on Mel Kiper’s big board.

NFL.com’s Daniel Jeremiah said, “I love his instincts, and his ball skills are exceptional.”

Recently, in the mock draft of Bleacher Report’s Scott Polacek,Jackson was the 16th overall selection, landing a spot with the Green Bay Packers. Walter Football’s mock draft had him at No. 27 and going to the Los Angeles Rams last week.

But there are pros to staying in school, just as there are pros for going pro. Jackson described his reasoning for playing in the Black and Gold for one final season.

“To finish out, get my degree, and play another year with my guys,” he said.

Jackson, a unanimous All-American, recorded 7 interceptions during the regular season. The native of Corinth, Texas, also had 18 pass breakups, 47 tackles, 1 forced fumble, and 1 blocked field goal this season.

Akrum Wadley, tour guide extraordinaire

Akrum Wadley, a senior from Newark, New Jersey, isn’t upset about Iowa not playing in a warm bowl game.

The senior running back lived around 20 to 30 minutes away from Yankee Stadium, where the Hawkeyes and Eagles will clash in fewer than 10 days (oddly enough, Dec. 27 will be Wadley’s first time in Yankee Stadium).

Wadley said that if he could take the team to any destination in the Big Apple, it would be Time Square. But when asked if he’d be the team’s tour guide, he burst out laughing.

“I don’t know, man,” Wadley said. “We’ll see.”

The last time Iowa played near Wadley’s hometown was last season, when the Hawkeyes took on the Scarlet Knights at Rutgers (Piscataway, New Jersey).

In that game, Wadley ran for 84 yards and scored the game-winning touchdown late in the fourth quarter, giving the Hawkeyes a 14-7 win, but the tailback knows he needs to put on a better performance for his family unless he wants to suffer the consequences.

“I know I got to have a good game. The pressure is on,” he said. “I’m going home after the game, so if I don’t have a good game, I’m going to get teased, get joked on a lot.”

Sending the seniors out with an elusive bowl win

The Hawkeyes haven’t won a bowl game since 2010 — that’s five-straight postseason losses.

Iowa doesn’t want to make it six in a row.

“It’ll be big, especially for us seniors,” offensive lineman Sean Welsh said. “It’s been a goal of ours for the past two years, to win a bowl game. It’s been a while.”

Plenty of talk surrounds Iowa’s matchup with Boston College; both play hard-nosed defense and rely on the running game to fuel their offenses.

“I think it’s great for us because we know it’s going to be toe-to-toe,” Welsh said.

The perfect place for rings? The sock drawer.

When asked where he’d put the ring from the Pinstripe Bowl if Iowa wins, linebacker Josey Jewell had an immediate response.

“Probably the sock drawer,” he said. “Not to say they’re not important, but that’s where I put them.”

Just as Jackson had himself an outstanding season defensively, Jewell put on a tackling clinic.

The senior from Decorah racked up 125 tackles this season, while missing a game with injury. Jewell also notched 13.5 tackles for a loss and 4.5 sacks, intercepted 2 passes, and recovered and forced a fumble.

Jackson and Jewell both earned unanimous All-American recognition last week, which means their pictures will go up in the football facility with the rest of the unanimous All-Americans.

It just happens to be where the team members eat.

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