A day after Shaun Prater announced that he was returning to Iowa for his senior season, Marvin McNutt and Tyler Sash announced their decisions. McNutt has decided to come back as well. He made a simple announcement on Facebook "I'm going back" that was later confirmed by Iowa. Coach Ferentz said, "I was very happy to learn this morning of Marvin’s intentions to finish his career at Iowa as a senior next fall. Marvin has done some tremendous things for our team the past several years and we anticipate him enjoying a very productive year as both a player and team leader in his senior year."
McNutt coming back is a huge deal for the Hawkeyes next season. He was the leading receiver on the team with 53 receptions for 861 yards and 10 TDs. With a big senior class at receiver leaving (DJK, Sandeman, Chaney, Nordmann), McNutt will likely be the number 1 target again. And, if the Ohio State game was any indication of what McNutt and James Vandenberg can do together, I think the two could put up some big numbers.
Sash on the other hand is not coming back. He's decided to forgo his senior year and enter the draft. Like Prater and McNutt, Sash's decision was announce via social media. He tweeted "After much prayer and deliberation, I've decided now's the right time to go to the next level. Thanks Hawkeyes for all of your support."
While I'm disappointed that he won't be coming back, I think he probably made the right decision. He's had 4 good years at Iowa and has already put up some big numbers on the field with interceptions and tackles. I think he would have been a big part of the defense next year with an inexperienced front 7, but don't know that he could have done much to improve his stock in the draft.
My guess would be that Jordan Bernstine would have the best shot at replacing Sash. Bernstine played a little safety in camp, though played in mostly as a corner/nickel during the season. Some other options might be Tom Donatell, Anthony Hitchens, Jack Swanson, Tanner Miller (if he's not the free safety), or maybe a converted corner like Greg Castillo. Both safety spots will be interesting to watch in the spring and fall.