Iowa defensive back Dane Belton declares for NFL Draft

Belton, a junior, led the Big Ten with five interceptions last season.


Jerod Ringwald

Iowa defensive back Dane Belton reads the Indiana offense during a football game between No. 18 Iowa and No. 17 Indiana at Kinnick Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 4, 2021. The Hawkeyes defeated the Hoosiers 34-6. (Jerod Ringwald/The Daily Iowan)

Robert Read, Pregame Editor

Iowa defensive back Dane Belton has declared for the 2022 NFL Draft and will forgo his senior season as a Hawkeye, he announced on social media on Saturday morning.

Belton, Iowa’s starting “Cash,” led the conference with five interceptions last season as a junior and was named first-team All-Big Ten for his play. The 6-foot-1, 205-pounder also recorded 46 tackles and seven pass breakups for the Hawkeyes last season.

“I would like to start off by thanking God for the countless blessings and for guiding me to where I am now,” Belton said in a written statement released on Twitter. “I would like to thank my parents and brother for always being there for me and being my support system. I want to thank the coaching staff, the strength staff, the medical staff, trainers, and everyone at the University of Iowa that have mentored, taught, and looked out for me during my time here. I want to especially thank coach [Phil] Parker, coach [Seth] Wallace, coach [Kirk] Ferentz, and coach [Raimond] Braithwaite for developing me into the player I am today. I want to thank my teammates for the bonds we’ve created and the times we’ve spent together, grinding on the field and hanging out off the field.

“With that being said, I want to officially announce that I am declaring for the 2022 NFL Draft! Thank you Hawkeye Nation for the support! Go Hawks!”

Belton is the second member of Iowa’s starting secondary to declare for the draft, joining senior safety Jack Koerner. Iowa cornerback Riley Moss, the Big Ten Defensive Back of the Year, opted to return for a fifth season with the Hawkeyes instead of turning pro.