It was a great day to be a former member of the Iowa football team. Several former Hawkeyes produced game changing plays for their NFL team in Week 11.
Members of the Iowa Hawkeyes – both past and present – showed their best this past weekend. After the Iowa football team defeated Penn State on Saturday 41-21, many former Hawkeye players in the NFL produced noteworthy performances for their respective teams.
Let’s start from the top.
Washington Football team guard Brandon Scherff received the game ball from head coach Ron Rivera for his effort against the Cincinnati Bengals. He finished with a grade of 90.8 from Pro Football Focus, the second-highest grade for any offensive lineman in Week 11. Washington won 20-9. Scherff played at Iowa from 2010-14 and won the Outland Trophy, given to the nation’s best lineman, in 2014.
Tennessee Titans safety Amani Hooker intercepted Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson in the red zone late in the third quarter of Sunday’s game. He also recorded two pass-breakups and six tackles (three solo). The Titans won in overtime 30-24. Hooker played for Iowa from 2016-2018.
Green Bay Packers linebacker Christian Kirksey produced a team-high 11 total tackles and grabbed an interception off Indianapolis Colts quarterback Philip Rivers. He was on the field for every defensive play, which resulted in a season-high 84 snaps. The Packers lost 34-31 in overtime. Kirksey played for the Hawkeyes from 2010-2013.
Cleveland Browns defensive end Adrian Clayborn had his best game of the 2020 season against the Philadelphia Eagles. Clayborn recorded a season-high 1.5 sacks and forced a fumble. He also played a season-high 39 snaps. The Browns won 22-17. Clayborn was a Hawkeye from 2006-10 and was consensus All-American at his position.
Minnesota Vikings defensive tackle Jaleel Johnson produced eight tackles (three solo) and recorded the Vikings’ only sack against the Dallas Cowboys. He played on 76 percent of Minnesota’s defensive snaps. The Cowboys won 31-28. Johnson played at Iowa from 2012-16.
Detroit Lions tight end T.J. Hockenson caught four passes for 68 yards (17.0 average) in a losing effort. Three of his four catches went for 1st-downs. He also had a nice catch-and-run for a 35-yard gainer. Hockenson played at Iowa from 2016-18 and won the John Mackey Award as the top tight end in college football in 2018.
Iowa football currently holds a 3-2 record and hosts Nebraska on Friday, Nov. 27, in a battle for the Heroes Trophy. Meanwhile, former Hawkeyes continue to show out in the NFL week after week. There are 37 former Iowa players currently on an NFL roster, according to OurLads.