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College Football: Athlon Sports names 10 Hawkeyes Preseason All-Big Ten


This news story was published on June 23, 2020.
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IOWA CITY – University of Iowa senior kicker Keith Duncan, senior offensive tackle Alaric Jackson, sophomore center Tyler Linderbaum and senior wide receiver and return specialist Ihmir Smith-Marsette, all named to the first team, highlight the list of Hawkeyes named to the Athlon Sports preseason All-Big Ten teams announced Tuesday. Smith-Marsette who was named as a return specialist, and Jackson, were also first team selections a year ago.

Sophomore Tyler Goodson, as a running back and all-purpose selection, and senior defensive end Chauncey Golston were named to the second team, while junior defensive back Jack Koerner was a third team selection.

Hawkeyes named to the fourth team include Smith-Marsette as a wide receiver, senior defensive back Matt Hankins, junior defensive lineman Daviyon Nixon, and sophomore tight end Sam LaPorta.

Duncan (5-foot-10, 180-pounds) was a consensus All-American in 2019, earning five first-team All-America selections and two second-team All-America selections. He led the nation with 29 made field goals to set the Iowa and Big Ten single-season record, which ranks sixth all-time in NCAA history.

In 2019, Duncan was also the Bakken-Andersen Kicker of the Year in the Big Ten, one of three Lou Groza Award finalists, a first-team All-Big Ten selection by league coaches and media, and an Academic All-Big Ten selection. In wins over Iowa State (Sept. 14) and Purdue (Oct. 19), Duncan was a perfect 4-for-4 in field goal attempts.

Jackson (6-6, 320) earned second and third-team All-Big Ten honors a year ago. He started 10 games at left tackle and missed three games due to injury. He has 34 career starts. Linderbaum (6-3, 288) earned honorable mention All-Big Ten honors last season. He started every game at center after playing in the defensive line in 2018.

Smith-Marsette (6-1, 186) was the Most Valuable Offensive Player in Iowa’s 49-24 Holiday Bowl win over #22 Southern California. He scored a rushing, receiving and kickoff return touchdown in that contest. Smith-Marsette averaged 29.6 yards on 17 kickoff returns, and had a touchdown return in Iowa’s win at Nebraska. As a receiver he recorded 44 receptions for 722 yards, with five touchdowns.

Goodson (5-10, 200) in 2019 became the first freshman ever to lead Iowa in rushing. He rushed 134 times for 638 yards and five touchdowns, while recording 24 receptions for 166 yards.

Golston (6-5, 272) was previously named to the 2020 Lott IMPACT Trophy Watch List. He started all 13 games at defensive end in 2019, recording 47 tackles, including 26 solo stops and 21 assists, with 9.5 tackles for loss, three sacks, one interception, five pass break-ups and seven pressures. Golston led the Big Ten and ranked sixth nationally with three fumble recoveries. Golston earned honorable mention All-Big Ten recognition from league coaches and media last season.

Koerner (6-0, 208) started 11 games a year ago at free safety. He ranked second on the team in tackles with 81 (49 solo). He had five pass break-ups, one forced fumble and two fumble recoveries.

Nixon (6-3, 205) saw the first action of his Iowa career, seeing action in all 13 games and starting at tackle in Iowa’s win at Iowa State. He totaled 29 tackles, with 5.5 tackles and three sacks.

Hankins (6-0, 190) has earned 19 career starts. He started 10 games a year ago while missing three games due to injury. He ranked fifth on the team with 58 tackles and was second in interceptions (two) and pass break-ups (seven).

LaPorta (6-4, 250) saw action as a true freshman in 2019, recording 15 receptions for 188 yards. LaPorta recorded a career-best six receptions (44 yards) in the bowl victory.

The Hawkeyes kickoff their season Sept. 5 against Northern Iowa.

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