IOWA CITY, IOWA – University of Iowa defensive end Parker Hesse has been named Big Ten Conference Freshman of the Week for his performance in Iowa’s 28-20 win at Nebraska.
The Big Ten honor is the first for Hesse (6-foot-3, 240-pounds), a native of Waukon, Iowa (Waukon HS), who redshirted in 2014.
Hesse is the sixth Hawkeye to earn weekly honors from the Big Ten in 2015. QB C.J. Beathard earned the offensive award following Iowa’s win at Iowa State, PK Marshall Koehn was the special teams winner after Iowa’s last-second victory over Pittsburgh, DB Desmond King earned co-defensive honors for his play in Iowa’s win at Wisconsin, RB Jordan Canzeri garnered the offensive honor for his play in a win over Illinois, and RB Akrum Wadley collected the offensive honor for his play in a win at Northwestern.
Hesse equaled his career best with six tackles in the win at Nebraska. With the scored tied in the second period, Hesse tipped a Cornhusker pass in the air, grabbed the deflection for his first career interception and ran four yards to the end zone for his first career touchdown.
Hesse played in all 12 regular season games, with seven starts after taking over for injured senior Drew Ott. He has recorded 19 solo tackles and 19 assists, including three tackles for loss and two sacks. He also has one pass break-up, one caused fumble and one fumble recovery.
Iowa shares the Big Ten lead and ranks fourth nationally with Michigan State with a plus-14 turnover margin. Iowa has scored 83 points off turnovers and leads the Big Ten with 17 interceptions. The Hawkeyes have returned four interceptions for touchdowns.
The Hawkeyes are ranked third in the latest coaches poll and fourth by the Associated Press. The Hawkeyes are also ranked fourth in the most recent CFP rankings.
Iowa (12-0, 8-0) has established a school record for wins in a season and will meet Michigan State in the Big Ten Conference Championship game Saturday at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis (7:17 p.m. CT, FOX).