Stone declares for 2020 NFL Draft

Iowa safety Geno Stone became the first Hawkeye to declare for the NFL Draft on Monday.

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Stone declares for 2020 NFL Draft

Iowa defensive back Geno Stone goes up for an interception during a football game between Iowa and Michigan at the Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, Michigan on Saturday, October 5, 2019. The Wolverines defeated the Hawkeyes 10-3.

Iowa defensive back Geno Stone goes up for an interception during a football game between Iowa and Michigan at the Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, Michigan on Saturday, October 5, 2019. The Wolverines defeated the Hawkeyes 10-3.

Wyatt Dlouhy

Iowa defensive back Geno Stone goes up for an interception during a football game between Iowa and Michigan at the Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, Michigan on Saturday, October 5, 2019. The Wolverines defeated the Hawkeyes 10-3.

Wyatt Dlouhy

Wyatt Dlouhy

Iowa defensive back Geno Stone goes up for an interception during a football game between Iowa and Michigan at the Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, Michigan on Saturday, October 5, 2019. The Wolverines defeated the Hawkeyes 10-3.

Pete Ruden, Pregame Editor

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One Hawkeye is off to the NFL.

Iowa safety Geno Stone tweeted his intention to declare for the 2020 NFL Draft on Monday.

“Since the bowl game, I have had plenty of time to think deeply about my future and weigh the pros and cons of my options,” Stone wrote in his tweet. “With that said, after serious discussion with my family confidantes, and coaches, (and a lot of prayers), I have decided to declare for the 2020 NFL Draft!”

Stone ranked third on Iowa with 70 total tackles last season while recording four pass break-ups, an interception, and three forced fumbles.

In 2018, Stone posted 39 tackles, four interceptions, three passes defended, a forced fumble, and a defensive touchdown.

In his statement, Stone thanked his Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz, strength and conditioning coach Chris Doyle, defensive coordinator Phil Parker, and his teammates.

He also noted the importance of his academic staff and Hawkeye fans.

Stone’s declaration makes him the second Hawkeye defensive back in two years to leave the program early for the NFL.

Last season, it was Amani Hooker, who left after recording four interceptions and seven pass break-ups. He would go on to be drafted by the Tennessee Titans in the fourth round of the 2019 NFL Draft.

After finishing with five tackles, a pass break-up, and a forced fumble in Iowa’s 49-24 Holiday Bowl victory over USC, Stone hadn’t made up his mind.

“I got emotional after the game,” Stone said after the bowl. “It’s hard to leave something like this. After a win, you just think about so much, leaving all your brothers. I have one more year left, but at the same time, I just want to do what’s best for me.”

Now, after getting the feedback he sought from his coaches and the NFL, his decision is made.

“Thank you to everyone who has helped me through this process, and I’m forever grateful for you,” Stone wrote in his post. “Choosing Iowa wasn’t the easiest thing for meΒ  to do as a kid coming out of high school, but leaving is even harder.”

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