Iowa football: Big Ten defensive back of year Riley Moss returning to Hawkeyes for 'one last ride'

Chad Leistikow
Hawk Central

In a surprise decision, Riley Moss is going to experience one more season with the Iowa Hawkeyes.

The Big Ten Conference's defensive back of the year for 2021 announced Wednesday he will come back for a fifth-year senior season. Moss, who has 10 career interceptions in four seasons at Iowa, had an extra year of eligibility available due to last year's pandemic-shortened season. And in sending a tweet Wednesday announcing he was coming back for "one last ride," Moss took it.

"I have more goals I want to achieve," Moss said, "and this team has more goals to achieve as well. This has been the hardest decision I've ever had to make, and I am confident that I have made the right one."

Moss is a 6-foot-1, 194-pound cornerback from Ankeny. His two interception-return touchdowns in Iowa's season-opening 34-6 rout of Indiana set the stage for a Hawkeye defense that would record a program-record 25 interceptions this season.

Riley Moss went through senior day festivities on Nov. 20. Looks like he'll be going through those again.

The Hawkeyes won the Big Ten West Division title but finished with back-to-back losses, in the league title game against Michigan and with a 20-17 loss to Kentucky in the Vrbo Citrus Bowl. 

Moss has 26 career starts at Iowa, and now (health willing) he's got a chance to finish his Hawkeye career near 40. The decision to return surprised even his parents. Moss had already accepted an invitation to play in the Reese's Senior Bowl, which is a premier pre-NFL Draft opportunity. Moss now will put off the NFL plan for another year.

One of Moss' best friends, free safety Jack Koerner, has already declared for the NFL. Junior cornerback Dane Belton, who led the Big Ten with five interceptions and was also a first-team choice, also is expected to make an NFL decision soon.