IOWA CITY, IOWA – – Eight members of the University of Iowa football team have been named to Phil Steele’s Preseason All-Big Ten team. The all-conference team is released as part of Phil Steele’s College Football Preview magazine, which will be on newsstands June 5.
Senior WR Keenan Davis and senior DB Micah Hyde were named first team, while junior LB James Morris was named to the second team. Senior center James Ferentz and junior TE C.J. Fiedorowicz are third team selections, while sophomore OL Brandon Scherff, junior LB Christian Kirksey and junior DB Tanner Miller were named to the fourth unit.
Davis (6-3, 215) is a native of Cedar Rapids. He started all 12 games in which he played in 2011, collecting 50 receptions for 713 yards and four touchdowns to rank second on the team in all three categories. He was named to the Biletnikoff Award Watch List during the season.
Hyde (6-1, 190) is a two-year starter at cornerback from Fostoria, Ohio. He was named second team all-Big Ten by league coaches as a junior after collecting 72 tackles while starting all 13 games. He shared the team lead in interceptions (three) and pass break-ups (eight). He has started 26 consecutive games and has 162 career tackles and seven career interceptions.
Morris (6-2, 230) is a native of Solon. He started all 12 games in which he played a year ago and has 18 career starts in two seasons. He shared the team lead with 110 tackles in 2011 while earning honorable mention all-conference honors from both league coaches and media.
Ferentz (6-2, 284) has started all 26 games over the last two seasons at center. The Iowa City native was on the Rimington Trophy preseason watch list in 2011 and was honorable mention all-Big Ten by league coaches and media.
Fiedorowitz (6-7, 265) showed improvement throughout his sophomore season, starting Iowa’s final five games. The Johnsburg, Ill. native totaled 16 receptions for 167 yards and three touchdowns.
Kirksey (6-2, 220) is a native of St. Louis, Mo. He started the first seven games last year at the weak side linebacker position before starting the final six games on the outside. He shared the team lead with 110 tackles.
Miller (6-2, 201) started the final 11 games at free safety last season. The Kalona native recorded 76 tackles and shared the team lead with three interceptions. His theft and 98-yard return for a touchdown was a key play in Iowa’s home win over Northwestern.
Scherff (6-5, 310) saw his first action a year ago after a redshirt season in 2010. The Denison native played in 11 games, starting three at left guard. He was named to the Big Ten Conference All-Freshman team by BTN.com.
Iowa opens the 2012 season Sept. 1, facing Northern Illinois at Soldier Field in Chicago. The Hawkeyes then host consecutive home games against Iowa State, Northern Iowa, Central Michigan and Minnesota.