Twitter = NFL for Prater?

Shaun Prater’s fondness for social networking could mean the Iowa cornerback won’t be returning for his senior season in 2011.

The Omaha, Neb., native recently signed up for a Twitter account (@Shaun_Prater), and began making posts on Dec. 30, 2010.

Prater’s first tweet came only three days after Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz told reporters that the junior cornerback had submitted paperwork to the NFL Draft Advisory Committee as a way to get an idea of where he would be selected if he chose to leave Iowa early.

“It’s a resource that the NFL has made available to players. I think that’s wonderful,” Ferentz said. “It’s better for them to get information from people who do this for a living as opposed to people who … are offering advice that really have no idea.”

Prater is one of three Hawkeye underclassmen who filed such paperwork. Safety Tyler Sash and wide receiver Marvin McNutt did, as well.

While this doesn’t guarantee Prater is opting for the NFL, his sudden interest in Twitter could offer a clue as to where his priorities lie.

Ferentz doesn’t tweet, telling reporters once that he’s “not a huge fan of the social networks.” He’s had issues with players using the site in the past, most notably former wide receiver Derrell Johnson-Koulianos.

Sash also started tweeting on Jan. 1, 2011 under the handle @TSash. Rest assured, Hawkeye fans, McNutt doesn’t appear to have a Twitter account yet.

If Prater and Sash do indeed choose to go pro, it could leave the Hawkeyes with two significant holes to fill in its secondary.

Prater intercepted four passes and recorded 68 tackles this season en route to earning first team All-Big Ten honors by the conference coaches. Although Sash had only two interceptions this season, he has 13 in his Hawkeye career.

The deadline to declare for the NFL Draft is Jan. 15.

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