Just two days from officially finding out what bowl game they'll be playing in, the Iowa Hawkeyes are dealing with the departure of pre-season All-American Tight End Noah Fant.

Fant, a junior who has more than 1,000 receiving yards and 19 touchdown grabs in his career, announced he's skipping Iowa's bowl game and his senior season as he sets his sights on pro football. In a message on Hawkeye Heaven (posted below), he said, in part,

After multiple discussions with my family, coaches, and a lot of prayer, I have decided to forego the remainder of my eligibility and declare of the 2019 NFL draft.

Fant's 19 career touchdown catches is the most ever by an Iowa tight end. This season, he caught 38 passes for 519 yards and seven touchdowns, a team-high.

In a release from the University of Iowa Sports Information Department, Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz said,

We are disappointed Noah will not be finishing the season with his teammates. He is a tremendous athlete and we wish him the best as he pursues his goal of playing in the NFL.

Earlier this week, Fant was named first-team All-Big Ten by coaches in the league. His counterpart, T.J. Hockenson, was the media's choice for first-team tight end and was also named the Kwalick-Clark Tight End of the Year. Hockenson has 46 catches for 717 this season, including six receiving touchdowns this season. He has also been named one of three finalists for the John Mackey Award, for the country's best tight end. Fant was a finalist for the award last season.

Only one other Iowa tight end has a catch this season. That's junior Nate Wieting, who has two catches for 51 yards. He's played in 11 of Iowa's 12 games. The Hawks will be looking for him, or others, to step up in the bowl game to help lessen the defensive focus that is sure to follow Hockenson in the game.

To find out what bowl game Iowa and Iowa State will be playing in this winter, download the free KHAK app and sign up for Breaking News alerts. We'll send the information right to your phone Sunday afternoon.

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