A star player for the Iowa Hawkeyes has made a big decision about his future.

Running back Akrum Wadley has decided to return for his senior season in 2017, instead of turning professional. Wadley and Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz confirmed that a final decision was made on Thursday (Jan. 5, 2016).

“It is positive news to know that Akrum has made the decision to be with our program for his senior season,” said Ferentz. “Akrum has displayed growth and maturity during his career, and had an outstanding season in 2016. We look forward to Akrum being a key member of our team in 2017.”

“It was the right decision for me and my family,” said Wadley. “I met with my parents and we laid out the pros and cons, and came to the decision that it would be best for me to stay at Iowa for my senior year. The main three reasons are to earn my degree, to have another year to prepare physically, and to not end my collegiate career on a bad note; we have some unfinished business.

“I would like to thank coach Ferentz. We had good conversations and he let me know that he would be there either way, he would have my back. I also want to express my appreciation for all the support from my teammates, and the great and loyal Iowa fans.”

Wadley (5-foot-11, 191 pounds) is a native of Newark, New Jersey. He led the Hawkeyes in rushing in 2016 with 168 attempts for 1,081 yards and 10 touchdowns. He ranked second in receiving with 36 receptions for 315 yards and three touchdowns.

Wadley rushed for over 100 yards in six games, leading the offense with 115 rushing and 21 receiving yards in the 2017 Outback Bowl. He teamed with senior LeShun Daniels, Jr., to become the only two Hawkeyes two surpass 1,000 rushing yards in the same season.

Wadley has 1,763 career rushing yards to rank 18th in career rushing, and he ranks 20th in career scoring with 120 points. He also has 43 career receptions for 408 yards to total 2,171 career all-purpose yards. Only three Hawkeyes have rushed for over 1,000 yards in more than one season -- Sedrick Shaw, Fred Russell and Ladell Betts.

Iowa opens the 2017 season on Sept. 2, hosting Wyoming at Kinnick Stadium.

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