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College Football: Iowa’s Van Ness named B1G Special Teams Player of the Week

IOWA CITY – University of Iowa sophomore defensive lineman Lukas Van Ness has been named Big Ten Special Teams Player of the Week following Iowa’s 10-7 Iowa Corn Cy-Hawk Series loss to Iowa State. The announcement was made Monday by the Big Ten Conference office.

Van Ness tied an Iowa single game record with two blocked kicks in the game as he got his hand on two Cyclone punts. The two blocks mark the first time a Hawkeye has blocked two punts in a game since Sean Considine at Iowa State in 2003.

The first block of the game came on Iowa State’s first possession and the Iowa offense converted it into a touchdown to take a 7-0 lead. His second block of the game came in the third quarter, but the Hawkeye possession ended with a turnover.

Van Ness, a native of Barrington, Illinois (Barrington High School), has seen action at both tackle and end for the Hawkeye defense through two games. He added two tackles Saturday, including one tackle for loss. Van Ness and the Iowa defense are allowing just 81 rushing yards and 6.5 points per game.

Van Ness (6-foot-5, 275-pounds) made an immediate impact for the Iowa defense in 2021, earning Freshman All-America honors from the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) and the Maxwell Football Club.

The conference weekly honor is the first of Van Ness’ career and the second for a Hawkeye this season. Junior punter Tory Taylor was the Special Teams Player of the Week following Iowa’s opening win over South Dakota State.

The Hawkeyes (1-1) host Nevada (2-1) on Saturday (6:30 p.m., BTN) in their final nonconference game.

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