Jack Heflin grew up dreaming of playing at Kinnick Stadium and he got a chance to play there as a defensive tackle for Northern Illinois in 2018.
He’s going to play there a lot more this fall.
The former Erie-Prophetstown star announced on Twitter on Thursday that he plans to transfer from NIU to Iowa and play his final season of college football for the Hawkeyes. As a graduate transfer, he will be immediately eligible this fall.
Heflin, who earned second-team All-Mid-American Conference honors last season, said earlier this month that he was entering the NCAA transfer portal and it only took him a little more than a week to make his choice.
"I grew up in a family full of Iowa fans and my dream has always been to play at Kinnick Stadium," Heflin said prior to playing there in 2018. "I watched Hawkeye football on Saturdays growing up in Prophetstown, and they were my team."
Iowa is looking to replace three starters on the defensive line — A.J. Epenesa, Cedric Lattimore and Brady Reiff — and the 6-foot-4, 318-pound Heflin figures to get a shot at filling one of those vacancies. He will compete with returnees Dayvion Nixon and Austin Schulte and others for the chance to replace Lattimore and Reiff at the tackle positions.
Heflin redshirted as a true freshman at NIU in 2016, then stepped into the Huskies’ starting lineup the following year. He started every game in 2017, was a third-team All-MAC selection in 2018 and made the second team in 2019.
He recorded 8.5 tackles for loss, three sacks and forced three fumbles last season.
When he decided to transfer, Heflin wrote on Twitter that it was "one of the hardest decisions to make."
"I will never forget NIU and will always cherish the memories I have," he added. "I am excited for my next chapter."
He probably hasn’t seen the last of the Huskies. They are scheduled to visit Kinnick Stadium again this fall for a Sept. 26 battle with the Hawkeyes.
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