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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Iowa Hawkeyes
Iowa Hawkeyes. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /

You know the way Bart Starr and the Green Bay Packers are revered for winning the first two Super Bowls under Vince Lombardi?

That could have been Randy Duncan. Duncan is the only player in Iowa football history to be drafted No. 1 overall, as he was selected by the Packers in that spot in 1959, the first year of Lombardi’s tenure.

This came after an amazing career with the Iowa football team where he was the starting quarterback for two seasons. During that span, Duncan led the Hawks to a 15-2-2 record and final top-10 rankings in both seasons.

In his senior season, after throwing for 1,397 yards, 12 touchdowns, and nine interceptions (keeping in mind this today’s football is completely different from the 1950s), Duncan was named First-Team All-Big Ten (for a second time), consensus All-American and the Big Ten MVP. He also won the Walter Camp Award and finished second in the Heisman Trophy race.

Most importantly though, Duncan led the Hawkeyes to their second (and last) Rose Bowl victory.
After his career, Duncan was elected to the Iowa Sports Hall of Fame in 1976 and the College Football Hall of Fame in 1997.