IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Iowa running back Akrum Wadley is returning for his senior season.
Wadley contemplated turning pro after a breakout junior year in which he emerged as Iowa’s most explosive offensive weapon. But the 190-pound Wadley decided that one more season in college — this time as the Hawkeyes’ go-to back— would be more beneficial than declaring for the NFL draft.
Iowa finished 8-5, losing to Florida 30-3 on Monday in the Outback Bowl.
“I met with my parents and we laid out the pros and cons, and came to the decision that it would be best for me to stay at Iowa for my senior year. The main three reasons are to earn my degree, to have another year to prepare physically, and to not end my collegiate career on a bad note. We have some unfinished business.”
Wadley ran for 1,081 yards and 10 touchdowns and caught 36 passes with three TDs last year despite splitting carries with departing senior LeShun Daniels Jr.
Wadley will attempt to join Sedrick Shaw, Fred Russell and Ladell Betts as the only Hawkeyes to rush for over 1,000 yards in a season more than once, and if he stays healthy he’ll likely do so. Wadley will be Iowa’s returning back with significant experience.
“Akrum has displayed growth and maturity during his career, and had an outstanding season in 2016. We look forward to Akrum being a key member of our team in 2017,” Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz said.