Iowa football: 30 greatest players in Hawkeyes history

Ricky Stanzi, Iowa Hawkeyes. (Photo by David Purdy/Getty Images)
Ricky Stanzi, Iowa Hawkeyes. (Photo by David Purdy/Getty Images) /
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Desmond King, Iowa Hawkeyes
Desmond King, Iowa Hawkeyes. (Photo by Matthew Holst/Getty Images) /

Desmond King is one of the best defensive backs to ever play for the Iowa football team, and he helped put the Hawks back on the map after a few down seasons. He was one of the leaders of a defense that allowed 20.4 points per game, 20th best in the nation for a Hawkeyes team that went on an unbelievable 12-0 run during the regular season.

In that season, King tied the team record for interceptions in a season with eight. He also had 13 passes defended and 72 tackles en route to a unanimous All-American selection.

He didn’t stop there, though. King also collected the Jim Thorpe Award and the Jack Tatum Award, both given to the nation’s best defensive back, the Tatum-Woodson Big Ten Defensive Back of the Year Award and he was named First-Team All-Big Ten.

His senior year saw a bit of a dip from a statistical perspective with King registering just three interceptions and seven passed defended. That being said, it’s important to note that teams literally just refused to throw the ball to his side of the field. He was again named First-Team All-American and First Team All-Big Ten.

At the conclusion of his Hawkeye career, King shared or held four Iowa football records.

King slipped in the NFL Draft due to his speed concerns, but he is enjoying a stellar career in the NFL so far as well. Last season, he was an All-Pro with the Los Angeles Chargers.