Friday's Clicks: Wirfs, Epenesa Invited To Virtual NFL Draft

A.J. Epenesa, along with former Iowa teammate Tristan Wirfs, have been invited to virtually participate in the NFL draft. (Jeffrey Becker/USA Today Sports)

John Bohnenkamp

Former Iowa offensive tackle Tristan Wirfs and defensive end A.J. Epenesa have been invited to participate virtually in the NFL Draft.

Wirfs and Epenesa were among 58 players on the invitation list.

The NFL announced Monday that the league would hold a "fully virtual" draft due to the ongoing COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. League and team facilities are closed indefinitely.

Teams have been advised to prepare to conduct the draft outside of their facilities with personnel advised to be in separate locations, using phone and the internet to communicate.

Wirfs is expected to go early in the first round, while Epenesa is projected as a mid-round or late-round pick in the first round.

A 2 seed

CBS Sports' Jerry Palm has Iowa projected as a 2 seed in next season's NCAA men's basketball tournament.

Palm has Iowa in the Midwest Regional, playing 15 seed Colgate in the first round.

Stanley's cleats

Iowa quarterback Nate Stanley is selling his game-worn cleats from the 2017 games against Penn State and Ohio State to benefit the Center for Disaster Philanthropy.

The money raised will go to COVID-19 relief. Anyone who pledges $25 or more will be entered into a drawing for the autographed shoes.

No extra year for Wisconsin's seniors

Wisconsin seniors on spring sports team have been told to use their extra year of eligibility elsewhere.

In a statement released by the Wisconsin athletic department to the Wisconsin State Journal's Todd Milewski, those senior athletes whose seasons were cut short or canceled in response to the coronavirus pandemic will not be able to return to play in 2021.

The NCAA ruled on March 30 that senior spring sport athletes would be granted an extra year of eligibility.

Wisconsin is the first Power 5 conference school to not allow the return of these athletes to their teams in 2021.

"There are a number of people that were in activities and just stopped, much like the (NCAA) basketball tournament," Wisconsin athletics director Barry Alvarez said on a radio show on Wednesday. "We had students overseas studying abroad. That just ended abruptly. Boom. They came home. They finished online. We had musicians that were ready for their final concerts or whatever it might be. 

"Everyone who went through that, it just ended. Our faculty reps thought one group shouldn't be cherry-picked to get credit and come back and pick up that extra year of eligibility. What we tried to do was encourage our seniors to go ahead and, if you are going to graduate, graduate and move on with your life. We appreciate everything you've done, but move forward. The future is in question ... and we can't promise you anything."

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