Iowa football: Multiple Hawks claim yearly Big Ten awards

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IOWA CITY, IOWA- OCTOBER 20: Quarterback Tyrrell Pigrome #3 of the Maryland Terrapins runs up the field in the second half in front of defensive back Amani Hooker #27 of the Iowa Hawkeyes, on October 20, 2018 at Kinnick Stadium, in Iowa City, Iowa. (Photo by Matthew Holst/Getty Images)

Defensive Awards

Defensively, the Iowa football team had three members named to All-Conference teams along with one member taking home the 2018 Tatum-Woodson Defensive Back of the Year award.

Do-it-all safety Amani Hooker was the star of the day on defense and rightfully so. He was our midseason MVP for the Hawkeyes and he has been the centerpiece of the defense. Hooker, a junior from Minneapolis, took him the prestigious 2018 Tatum-Woodson Defensive Back of the Year award for his outstanding play this season.

Hooker is the third Iowa defensive back in a row and the fourth overall to win this honor behind Josh Jackson, Desmond King, and Micah Hyde.

Should we just call the University of Iowa football team DB U already?

He continued to rack up the awards as he was named to the First Team All-Big Ten Defense by coaches and media. AJ Epenesa landed on the coaches Second Team All-Big Ten Defense and his junior pass rushing counterpart Anthony Nelson landed on the Third Team.

The media, however, had a slightly brighter opinion of the Iowa football team as Epenesa joined Hooker on the First Team Defense and Nelson also received a bump up to the Second Team.

Both Epenesa and Nelson led the Big Ten in sacks with ten apiece and both were named to Big Ten Defensive Players of the Week twice.

Rounding out the All-Big Ten teams with honorable mention awards was senior defensive end Parker Hesse (52 tackles and four sacks), sophomore safety Geno Stone (tied for second in the conference with four interceptions), senior safety Jake Gervase (77 tackles and three interceptions), and senior defensive lineman Matt Nelson (27 tackles and six passes defensed).

For those keeping track at home, two of Iowa’s backup players, three safeties, and four defensive lineman received All-Big Ten honors. Pretty impressive.

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