Iowa's Shaun Prater to return in 2011

Iowa won't have to worry about replacing a first-team All-Big Ten cornerback for the second straight year.

Shaun Prater is coming back for his senior season, giving the Hawkeyes a very nice boost in the secondary. Prater broke the news Tuesday afternoon on his Twitter feed, where he tweeted: "Just finished discussing my future plans with my family & coaches and HAWK NATION I’m coming back for my senior year! Appreciate the support."

Prater turned in a solid junior season for Iowa, recording 68 tackles, four interceptions, 10 passes defended and a fumble recovery. He transitioned well into Iowa's top cornerback spot, previously occupied by All-Big Ten selection Amari Spievey, who entered the NFL draft as a junior following the 2009 campaign.

There had been a lot of buzz about Prater jumping to the NFL, but this seems like the right call. He'll enter 2010 as one of the Big Ten's premier cornerbacks along with Wisconsin's Antonio Fenelus and Purdue's Ricardo Allen.

Iowa now turns its attention to another defensive back, safety Tyler Sash, as well as receiver Marvin McNutt. Both players are considering a jump to the NFL draft, with Sash the more likely player to go. They have until Saturday to announce whether they'll enter the draft.