Iowa star OL Bulaga to enter NFL Draft

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IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Iowa junior offensive lineman Bryan Bulaga says he’s foregoing his final season of eligibility to enter the NFL Draft.

Bulaga is a 6-foot-5, 315-pound tackle from Crystal Lake, Ill., and is widely viewed as a potential first-round pick.

Bulaga was the Big Ten’s 2009 offensive lineman of the year despite missing three games with a thyroid condition.

Bulaga says in a release sent out by the school Wednesday night that his illness made him realize how important football is to him and how quickly it can be taken away.

Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz says he appreciates Bulaga’s contributions to the program and wishes him well.

The 10th-ranked Hawkeyes finished 11-2 and beat Georgia Tech 24-14 in the Orange Bowl Tuesday night.