Iowa's Josh Jackson snags his second interception on the day against Ohio State Nov. 4 at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City. Jackson had three interceptions on the day as the Hawkeyes upset the Buckeyes 55-24.

Iowa cornerback Josh Jackson is taking his game to the next level.

The junior who led the nation with eight interceptions in his only season as a starter for the Hawkeyes announced on Instagram this morning that he will forego his final year of eligibility and place his name into consideration for this year’s NFL draft.

“Growing up, it has always been my dream to play in the National Football League. I am excited for the next step and humbled by this great opportunity,’’ Jackson wrote. “I will always bleed Black and Gold. Thank you Hawkeye nation!.’’

Jackson thanked his coaches and teammates as well as Iowa fans in his announcement, calling his decision to join the Hawkeyes out of high school in Cornith, Texas, “the best decision of my life.’’

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Jackson is regarded as a potential first- or second-round selection in this year’s draft, a position he earned as his stock soared throughout his junior season with the Hawkeyes.

Three interceptions in a rout of Ohio State followed by two more that he returned for touchdowns the following week in a loss at Wisconsin placed Jackson in the national spotlight.

A consensus first-team all-American, Jackson was one of three finalists for the Jim Thorpe Award, presented to the top defensive back in college football, after being named as the Big Ten defensive back of the year.

Quad-City Times​