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Iowa’s Desmond King named Big Ten defensive back of the year

logo_iowa_hawkeyesIOWA CITY, IOWA – University of Iowa senior Desmond King has been named Tatum-Woodson Defensive Back of the Year in the Big Ten Conference. In addition, King was named first-team All-Big Ten by vote of league coaches and media, and was a unanimous selection on the media squad. The defensive honorees were announced by the Big Ten Conference Monday on BTN. Offensive award winners will be announced Tuesday evening.

Carl Nassib of Penn State earned Nagurski-Woodson Defensive Player of the Year honors.

In addition to King, four other Hawkeyes landed on All-Big Ten teams. Sophomore linebacker Josey Jewell was named second team by coaches and media, and senior kicker Marshall Koehn was named second team by Big Ten coaches.

Senior defensive end Nate Meier was named a third team selection by both the coaches and media, and senior safety Jordan Lomax was named to the third team by league coaches.

Defensive players earning honorable mention recognition include senior linebacker Cole Fisher, junior defensive tackle Jaleel Johnson, and sophomore outside linebacker Ben Niemann. King was honorable mention as a return specialist. Senior punter Dillon Kidd was honorable mention by both coaches and media.

King has eight interceptions this season, tied for most in the country. He has tied the school single-season record and is the first Hawkeye to lead the league in interceptions since Tyler Sash in 2009 (6). His seventh interception of the season was returned 88 yards for a touchdown against Maryland. He is one of three finalists for the Jim Thorpe Award, given annually to the best defensive back in the country. Iowa’s Micah Hyde earned the Tatum-Woodson Award in 2012.

Jewell leads Iowa and ranks fifth in the Big Ten with 111 tackles. He has two of Iowa’s league-best 17 interceptions, and his first career interception was returned 34 yards for a touchdown against North Texas.

Koehn has made 13-of-17 field goal attempts, including 7-of-9 from 40-plus yards. He kicked a 57-yard field goal as time expired to give Iowa a 27-24 win over Pitt. It was the second longest in school history and tied the Kinnick Stadium record.

Meier has a career-high 71 tackles, and his career-best seven sacks lead the Hawkeyes. He has started 24 consecutive games, and anchors a rush defense that ranks second in the Big Ten.

Lomax ranks third on the team with 82 tackles, and has one of Iowa’s Big Ten best 17 interceptions. He has started 24 of Iowa’s last 25 games.

Johnson has started all 12 games this season, the first 12 starts of his career. He has 40 tackles and 5.5 tackles for loss. His four sacks tie for third on the team, and his six quarterback hurries rank second.

Fisher ranks second on the team and seventh in the Big Ten with 103 tackles. He has started every game this season, his first 12 career starts. He has been Iowa’s leading tackler six times.

Niemann has made a career-high 41 stops in 12 starts this season. He has four sacks, tied for third on the team, and 6.5 tackles for loss.

Kidd averages 40.9 yards on 48 punts. He has 11 kicks of 50-plus yards, and landed 19 punts inside the 20-yard line.

Iowa (12-0, 8-0) has won a school-record 12 games this season, and plays Michigan State on Saturday in the Big Ten Conference title game. Kickoff is at 7:17 p.m. (CT) on FOX from Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

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