Bryan Bulaga waited until after Iowa smashed Georgia Tech in the Orange Bowl to declare his early departure for the NFL.

"After much deliberation and careful consideration, I have decidedto forego my fourth year of college eligibility and enter the upcomingNFL draft," declared the junior offensive lineman.

"This was not an easy decision, since my Iowa experience has beenvery positive and rewarding. The illness I was faced with at thebeginning of the 2009 season made me realize how important football isin my life and how quickly it can be taken away."

The 20-year-old from Crystal Lake, Ill., shocked very few Hawkeyefans with his decision, as it had long been speculated that Bulaga wasa first-round NFL draft prospect.

After his dominating Orange Bowl performance, ESPNâs Mel Kiper

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