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College Football: Iowa’s Campbell named B1G 10 Defensive Player of the Year

IOWA CITY - University of Iowa senior linebacker Jack Campbell has been named the Nagurski-Woodson Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year and the Butkus-Fitzgerald Big Ten Linebacker of the Year to highlight Iowa’s defensive honors on the all-conference teams.

IOWA CITY – University of Iowa senior linebacker Jack Campbell has been named the Nagurski-Woodson Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year and the Butkus-Fitzgerald Big Ten Linebacker of the Year to highlight Iowa’s defensive honors on the all-conference teams. The Big Ten announced the defensive awards Tuesday and will announce offensive awards Wednesday.

Campbell was named first-team All-Big Ten by both league head coaches and the voting media. Defensive teammates joining Campbell in earning first-team honors are defensive back Riley Moss (coaches) and defensive back Cooper DeJean (media). Moss was second team in the media voting and DeJean earned second-team honors from the coaches.

Two additional Hawkeyes earned second-team honors on both teams, including linebacker Seth Benson and defensive lineman Lukas Van Ness. Defensive end Joe Evans was a second-team selection by media, while earning honorable mention honors from coaches. Players earning honorable mention honors on both teams include defensive tackles Logan Lee and Noah Shannon and defensive back Kaevon Merriweather.

Campbell earned first-team honors for a second straight year after recording 118 tackles in 12 games. The Cedar Falls, Iowa, native is a finalist for the William V. Campbell Trophy and the Butkus Award as the nation’s top linebacker. He is the third Hawkeye under Ferentz to be named the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year, joining lineman Daviyon Nixon (2020) and linebacker Josey Jewell (2017) and the second Hawkeye to be voted the Butkus-Fitzgerald Big Ten Linebacker of the Year (Jewell, 2017).

Moss, a senior, who was named the Tatum-Woodson Defensive Back of the Year in 2021, also repeats as a first-team selection. He recorded 46 tackles and led the team with 10 pass break-ups and had one interception. He is tied for seventh with 11 career interceptions.

DeJean made a significant impact for the Hawkeyes in his sophomore season. He played both cornerback and the CASH linebacker position in recording 68 tackles. DeJean leads Iowa with four interceptions for 77 yards, with two touchdowns. He also averages 17.6 yards on seven punt returns.

Benson started all 12 games while playing both the weakside and outside linebacker positions. The senior is second to Campbell with 88 tackles, including 4.5 tackles for loss, with one interception and a fumble recovery.

Evans has 37 tackles from his end position, while Van Ness has 34 stops while playing both end and tackle. Van Ness leads the team with 9.5 tackles for loss, while he and Evans both have six sacks to share the team lead. Evans is a senior, while Van Ness is a sophomore.

Merriweather, a senior, has started every game and ranks second on the team with three interceptions. He has 47 tackles and scored a defensive touchdown with a fumble return in Iowa’s win at Rutgers. He was named Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week for his play against the Scarlet Knights.
Shannon and Lee have started in the trenches throughout the season at the tackle position. Lee has collected 48 tackles, with 7.5 tackles for loss and three sacks. Shannon is right behind with 44 tackles, including 8.5 tackles for loss and two sacks. Shannon is a senior and Lee is a junior.

Punter Tory Taylor was a first-team selection in the media voting and third team by coaches. Kicker Drew Stevens earned second-team honors on the media team and third team recognition by coaches. Taylor has handled all punting duties, averaging 45.1 yards on 74 punts, with a long of 70 yards. In his junior season Taylor has placed 32 punts inside the 20 with just 11 touchbacks. He has 22 punts of 50 yards or more, while opponents are averaging just 3.7 yards on 18 returns.

Stevens is a true freshman who joined the program as a walk-on. He leads the team in scoring with 69 points, connecting on 16-of-18 field goals and all 21 PAT attempts. Stevens has a long of 54 yards. He also has handled kickoffs throughout the season, with 29 touchbacks on 51 kicks.

Iowa (7-5, 5-4) will find out its bowl destination on Sunday. The Hawkeyes are expecting their 20th bowl invite over the past 24 seasons under Moon Family head football coach Kirk Ferentz.

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