#collegesafety | Iowa safety Geno Stone declares for 2020 NFL Draft

The first domino of the Iowa offseason has fallen as junior safety Geno Stone announced that he’ll be declaring for the 2020 NFL Draft. 

“The past 3 years of my life have been filled with nothing but great memories and friendships that will last forever,” Stone wrote on Twitter. “Since the bowl game, I have had plenty of time to think deeply about my future and weight the pros and cons of my options. With that said, after serious discussion with my family, confidantes, and coaches (and lots of prayers)… I have decided to declare for the 2020 NFL Draft!”

“Thank you Hawkeye Nation for being the bets fans in the world. I’m going to miss running out of 70,000 fans under the lights at Kinnick against the best teams in the nation. You guys are amazing and have become like a family to me.” 

Stone was one of the big pieces to keep Iowa’s secondary together at the start of the season when four of the top six defensive backs were injured. The 5-foot-10 210-pounder improved as an open field tackler and became a leader of the fifth-best scoring defense in the country.

The Pennsylvania native was set to sign with Kent State even after the Hawkeyes offered Stone late in the 2017 recruiting class, but his mother made Stone get in the car and take the Iowa visit. Eventually, he flipped to Iowa on signing day. The Hawkeyes were Stone’s lone power-five offer because other teams were skeptical of his physical tools. 

“I want to thank Coach Kirk Ferentz and the staff for taking a chance on a kid from New Castle, Pennsylvania when no one else would. Thank you to Coach Chris Doyle. The best in the business for always getting my mind and body ready for battle. Without your mentorship and guidance none of this would be possible.”

“And to my teammates, you made the last three years the best three years of my life. You guys are my brothers forever and I wish you nothing but the best in the future.” 

This is the second time in the past two seasons that an Iowa safety declared early for the NFL. Amani Hooker was selected in the fourth round last year by the Tennessee Titans after he was named a second-team all-American. 

Following his junior season, Stone was named a second-team all-conference player by the AP. He was also voted a third-team safety by the league’s coaches and was an honorable mention among the league’s media. Stone finished his career with 126 tackles (four for loss), six interceptions, 13 pass breakups, four forced fumbles and a fumble recovery. 

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