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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Andre Tippett, NFL
Andre Tippett, NFL. (Photo by D Dipasupil/Getty Images) /

Andre Tippett was the leader of arguably the best defense in Iowa football history. The 1981 Hawkeyes defense could honestly be one of the best run defenses college football has ever seen. With Tippett on the edge, this Hayden Fry led squad allowed just 79.7 yards per game for a ridiculously 2.4 yard per carry average.

Tippett’s contributions helped change the culture of the Iowa football program. In his three years as a letter winner, the Hawks went from 5-6 to 8-4 (Fry’s first winning season in Iowa) and advancing to the Rose Bowl for the first time in 23 years.

He was an All-American and a two-time All-Big Ten defensive end.

Today, you can still find Tippett’s name in the Iowa record book as the single-season record holder for lost yard on tackles for loss with 153 on 20 tackles.

After college, Tippett was drafted by the New England Patriots in the second round and ended up becoming one of the best players to ever play in the NFL, as he was a four-time All-Pro, NFL Defensive Player of the Year and five-time Pro Bowler. He is currently in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and he will likely be joining a few other Hawkeyes in the College Football Hall of Fame after this next induction.