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The 6-5, 295 defensive lineman had an offer from Alabama but stayed true to his word through academic hurdles to stick with Iowa. Kirk Ferentz discusses. Chad Leistikow | Hawkcentral.com

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Daviyon Nixon is still a defensive tackle for the Iowa football team.

For now.

The sophomore from Kenosha, Wisconsin, is taking classes this semester but is "considering his options" for transferring, Hawkeyes coach Kirk Ferentz said at a Thursday news conference. Nixon has entered his name in the "transfer portal" that coaches around the country can look at.

Nixon did not play this season after transferring from Iowa Western Community College. The intent was for him to get his academics in order. He would be in line to play a big role on the 2019 team after starting defensive tackles Matt Nelson and Sam Brincks graduated.

"My exposure to him has been extremely positive. We've liked what we've seen of him on the field. He's a tremendous young guy," Ferentz said of Nixon. "And right now he's working through some options and we'll see where it all goes."

Defensive tackle Garret Jansen previously indicated he would transfer elsewhere to play his senior season. Sophomore defensive end Brandon Simon has also entered his name in the transfer portal. Players who do so have the option of returning to their current school.

"It depends on the individual," Ferentz said when asked whether a player putting his name into the portal meant he would not be welcomed back. "It's not real confidential, quite obviously. I think that became very apparent. I don't know how they're going to be able to control that."

Ferentz said he hasn't spent much time looking at the portal, which is new this season. But the Hawkeyes are suddenly thin on the defensive line. Parker Hesse graduated. The other starting defensive end, Anthony Nelson, has declared for early entry to the NFL Draft.

That leaves a projected starting defensive line of A.J. Epenesa, Chauncey Golston, Cedrick Lattimore and Brady Reiff. Ferentz said there are no clear backups at this time, and he doesn't anticipate being able to rotate eight players on the line as the Hawkeyes did successfully last season.

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