IOWA CITY – University of Iowa true freshman running back Kaleb Johnson has been named Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week and Freshman of the Week following his performance in the Hawkeyes’ 24-3 win at Purdue on Nov. 5. The announcement was made Monday by the Big Ten Conference office.
The dual Big Ten honors are the first for Johnson after he led Iowa’s ground game against the Boilermakers. Johnson rushed 22 times for 200 yards and one touchdown. His touchdown covered 75 yards and came on the second play of the third quarter as the Hawkeyes increased their margin to the eventual final score.
Johnson (6-foot-0, 212-pounds) had career bests in rushing attempts and yards, along with a career best with two receptions for 17 yards. The 200 rushing yards are the 18th-most in a single game in program history, the second-most by a Hawkeye freshman all-time (Marcus Coker, 219 vs. Missouri, Insight Bowl) and the first by an Iowa player since 2015.
Johnson is the first Hawkeye freshman since Coker in 2010 to have two 100-yard rushing games, as he rushed seven times for 103 yards and two touchdowns in Iowa’s win over Nevada. The 75-yard score is Iowa’s longest rush from scrimmage since Tyler Goodson’s 80-yard touchdown run against Wisconsin in 2020.
Johnson, a native of Hamilton, Ohio (Hamilton High School) is Iowa’s leading rusher on the season with 96 attempts for 553 yards and four touchdowns. He is second on the team with 24 points and is averaging 24.6 yards on 11 kickoff returns.
Johnson is the fourth Hawkeye to be honored this season. Punter Tory Taylor earned special team honors on two occasions (South Dakota State, Rutgers) and defensive back Kaevon Merriweather earned defensive honors for his play at Rutgers. Kicker Drew Stevens earned Freshman of the Week honors for his play in the win over Northwestern.
Iowa (5-4, 3-3) hosts Wisconsin (3-5, 2-4) in a battle for the Heartland Trophy on Saturday (2:30 p.m. CT, FS1) at Kinnick Stadium.