Iowa's Riley Reiff to enter draft

Updated: January 4, 2012, 4:50 PM ET
By Adam Rittenberg | ESPN.com

Iowa left offensive tackle Riley Reiff will forgo his senior season and enter the NFL draft, he announced Wednesday.

"Throughout my years Iowa, I have made lifelong friends and learned many valuable lessons, not only on the playing field, but also off the field, that will stick with me for the rest of my life," Reiff said in a statement announcing his decision.

The first-team All-Big Ten selection is widely projected as a top 10 pick in April's NFL draft. ESPN's Scouts Inc. projects Reiff as the eighth best overall prospect, while Reiff is No. 7 on ESPN NFL draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr.'s Big Board.

"Riley has been an outstanding player for us the past three seasons and I am confident he will continue to experience great success in the years ahead," coach Kirk Ferentz said. "We are very appreciative of his contributions to our team."

Reiff started all but two games (37 total) during his Iowa career. He took over for Bryan Bulaga, an eventual first-round pick by the Green Bay Packers, during the 2009 season after Bulaga was briefly hospitalized.

Reiff earned first-team All-Big Ten honors in 2010 as well.

Adam Rittenberg covers Big Ten football for ESPN.com. He can be reached at espnritt@gmail.com.