COLLEGE FOOTBALL: DEC 16 Cure Bowl - Western Kentucky v Georgia State
WKU Hilltoppers linebacker Joel Iyiegbuniwe (4). Courtesy WKU Athletics
Rising redshirt senior linebacker Joel Iyiegbuniwe will forgo his final season of eligibility on The Hill and enter the 2018 NFL Draft.

“After much thought, prayer, and discussion with my family, coaches, and advisors, I have decided to enter the 2018 NFL Draft,” Iyiegbuniwe said. “I would like to thank my family, teammates, and coaches for all of their support the last three years. Staying in Bowling Green to continue my college education was the best decision of my life. I am one credit hour away from graduating, and I will graduate this spring. All the memories, friendships, and lessons I have learned the last three years will last a lifetime.”

In 2017, Iyiegbuniwe led WKU with 116 total tackles, including 51 solo tackles, and his 11.5 tackles for loss also led the Red and White. His tackle numbers this season were the third-most in a single season in the FBS era, and his 200 career tackles rank him sixth in the FBS era. He capped his WKU career with an All-Conference USA First Team performance, the third-straight such honor for a WKU linebacker.

“Playing in the NFL has always been a dream of mine, and I am excited about my future and chasing my NFL dream. Even though this chapter at WKU is ending, a new challenge awaits,” he added. “Bowling Green will always be home for me. I want to thank Hilltopper Nation, the best football fans in the country. I was so glad to be a part of the program’s success the last three years.”

Iyiegbuniwe saw his first game action as a true freshman in 2014 but suffered a knee injury in the third game of the year which sidelined him the rest of the way. Though 2017 was his fourth season on the field, he received a waiver to get the 2014 back as a redshirt season.

He leaves WKU as a two-time Conference USA Champion, three-time bowl champion, and captain in what proved to be his final season on The Hill. A local kid with local roots, “Iggy” – as he was known to most – signed to play for the Hilltoppers from nearby South Warren High School and was rated the No. 12 prospect in the state. He lived up to that rank and more during his time on The Hill.

How to Follow the Hilltoppers: For complete information on WKU Hilltopper Football, follow the program via social media @WKUFootball on Twitter and Facebook.


Western Kentucky University football
Courtesy WKU Athletics


Kyle Neaves

Associate Athletic Director, Athletic Communications/Media Relations

WKU Athletics


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