IOWA CITY – University of Iowa junior defensive tackle Daviyon Nixon has announced his decision to declare for the 2021 NFL Draft and forego his senior season with the Iowa Football program. Nixon made the announcement via social media on Wednesday.
“I am very happy for Daviyon and his family. I know he put a lot of time into making the choice to take this step,” said Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz. “Since he arrived on campus, Daviyon put in a tremendous amount of work to be a difference maker for us on defense and in the locker room. A year ago he was a part-time player, and today he leaves our program as the Big Ten’s Defensive Player of the Year and will likely be a consensus All-American. His teammates love him and his coaches will miss coaching him on and off the field.”
Nixon has earned first-team recognition on three of five All-America teams that are used in determining Consensus All-America status. The fourth All-America team (American Football Coaches Association) will be announced Thursday, with the fifth and final All-America team (Walter Camp) announced on Jan. 7, 2021.
Nixon, a Kenosha, Wisconsin, native, has also earned first-team All-America honors by The Athletic and ESPN. The Nagurski-Woodson Defensive Player of the Year and the Smith-Brown Defensive Lineman of the Year in the Big Ten led the Big Ten in tackles for loss (33), tied for the conference lead in sacks (5.5), and had the most tackles by a Big Ten defensive lineman (41).
Nixon was the only player in the country to be named a finalist for the Outland Trophy and Nagurski Trophy, and a semifinalist for the Chuck Bednarik award.
“I want to say thank you to the 21 seniors for their dedication and commitment to our program,” said Ferentz. “These men have all contributed in some way to make our program better throughout the course of their careers. Some will chase professional football dreams, while most will move on to their chosen careers. I am confident that they will apply the lessons learned on our campus and in our program to make an impact in the future. I wish them all the best.”
The Iowa Football program under Ferentz has sent 188 players to the NFL, including 75 draft picks and 113 free agents. At least one Hawkeye has been selected in the NFL Draft every year since 1978. In the past 13 seasons, 49 Hawkeyes have been taken in the NFL Draft, including seven first round selections in the past 10 drafts.