IOWA CITY, Iowa – Another key member of the Iowa football team’s defense has decided to stick around for one more season.
Fifth-year senior defensive back Sebastian Castro announced Saturday on X, which was formerly known as Twitter, that he will return next season rather than enter the 2024 NFL draft.
“Let’s run it back,” Castro said in his announcement.
Castro joins senior linebacker Jay Higgins and junior cornerback Jermari Harris as defensive players that have announced they will return to Iowa for one more season.
However, Iowa suffered a setback on defense when All-America junior cornerback Cooper DeJean announced on Friday that he would enter the 2024 NFL draft.
DeJean is in a different situation than his three Hawkeye teammates on defense as he projects as a likely first-round pick in the draft.
Castro is coming off a breakthrough season in which he earned All-America honors in his first season as a full-time starter.
The Oak Lawn, Illinois native led Iowa with three interceptions this season, including a pick-six against Iowa State.
Castro saw extensive playing time this season at the cash position, which is sort of a combination of defensive back and linebacker. He also played strong safety when Iowa used four defensive backs.
His decision means Iowa will have at least three starters returning in the secondary next season.
That number could grow to four if senior free safety Quinn Schulte also decides to return next season.
Schulte is deciding between entering the NFL draft, returning next season or attending dental school.
Iowa is also waiting for fifth-year senior linebacker Nick Jackson to decide if he will return next season or declare for the 2024 NFL draft.
Jackson played his first four seasons for Virginia before transferring to Iowa as a graduate student. He started every game this season.
The NCAA granted Jackson a waiver stemming from his 2022 season having been cut short with Virginia due the shooting deaths of three of his Virginia teammates.
The Iowa offense also received good news recently when junior tight end Luke Lachey announced that he would return next season. Lachey suffered a season-ending lower-leg injury in the third game against Western Michigan.
He was leading Iowa with 10 catches for 131 receiving yards when he was injured in the first half against Western Michigan.
Senior tight end Erick All also could return next season, but he has yet to announce his plans.
All suffered a season-ending leg injury in the seventh game against Wisconsin.
The Michigan transfer was leading Iowa with 21 catches for 299 yards when his injury occurred.