IOWA CITY – The University of Iowa’s offensive line has been named the winner of the Joe Moore Award for the most outstanding offensive line unit in college football. The announcement was made Friday morning by The Foundation for Teamwork.
The Joe Moore Award, in its second year, is named after Joe Moore, widely regarded as one of the best offensive line coaches in college football history. It is the only major college football award to honor a unit.
The Hawkeyes were selected over top-ranked Alabama and third-ranked Ohio State. Iowa was selected by a voting committee comprised solely of people who played or coached the offensive line position, including all of the current offensive line coaches at the Division I/FBS level as well as former players, coaches and colleagues of Coach Moore and select media.
“The voting was intensely close this year and Iowa and Alabama were neck-and-neck until the very end of the voting period,” said Aaron Taylor, CBS Sports CFB Analyst and Chairman of the Joe Moore Award Voting Committee. “Ultimately, while the other units may have had a few standout individual players, many of the voters felt Iowa personified the fundamental principle that drives this award: Teamwork. Iowa excelled in that this season.”
Overcoming many early season injuries, Iowa’s offensive line has seen seven different starting combinations through 12 games this season. Senior Cole Croston (LT/RT); juniors Ike Boettger (LT, LG, RT), Boone Myers (LT, LG), and Sean Welsh (RG, RT); sophomores James Daniels (C), Lucas LeGrand (C), and Keegan Render (LG, RG); and freshman Levi Paulsen (RG) all started in at least one game for the Hawkeyes.
Welsh was named second team All-America by USA Today and third team All-Big Ten. Daniels and Croston were also third team All-Big Ten honorees. Boettger was a conference honorable mention.
The Hawkeyes return to the field Monday, Jan. 2 at the 2017 Outback Bowl. No. 21 Iowa faces No. 17 Florida at Raymond James Stadium. Kickoff is at noon (CT). The game is televised ABC.