Dec. 2, 2015
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IOWA CITY, Iowa — University of Iowa defensive back Desmond King has been named one of five finalists for the Walter Camp Football Foundation 2015 Player of the Year. The award is the fourth-oldest college football award in the nation. The finalists were announced Wednesday by the Walter Camp Foundation.
Joining King as finalists are Alabama running back Derrick Henry, Stanford running back Christian McCaffrey, Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson and Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield.
The Player of the Year Award is voted on by the 129 Football Bowl Subdivision head coaches and sports information directors. The Player of the Year will be announced on Thursday, Dec. 10, during the 5 p.m. CT edition of ESPN SportsCenter.
In addition to the Walter Camp recognition, King is one of three finalists for the Jim Thorpe Award. He has been named the recipient of the 2015 Jack Tatum Award by The Touchdown Club of Columbus. The prestigious award, named for the late Ohio State and NFL legend Jack Tatum, is presented annually to the best defensive back in college football.
King was recently named the Tatum-Woodson Defensive Back of the Year in the Big Ten conference, and was named first team All-Big Ten by both league coaches and media (unanimous).
King (5-foot-11, 200-pounds), is a junior from Detroit (East English Village HS). His eight interceptions are tied for most in the nation. King has multiple interceptions in two games, with two thefts in wins over Pittsburgh and Wisconsin. The eight interceptions ties the Iowa single-season record (Lou King, 1981; Nile Kinnick, 1939). King has 11 career thefts, which ties for eighth best at Iowa.
King has recorded 39 solo tackles and 22 assists, with one tackle for loss. He leads the Hawkeyes with 11 pass break-ups. Iowa ranks among national leaders in turnover margin (4th), rushing defense (6th), interceptions (8th), and takeaways (12th).
King was named the Jim Thorpe national Defensive Player of the Week and Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week following Iowa’s win at Wisconsin. He is also the first Hawkeye with multiple multi-interception games in a season since Tyler Sash in 2009. He had an 88-yard touchdown return in Iowa’s win over Maryland, the second touchdown of his career (Indiana, 2014).
King is also Iowa’s primary kickoff and punt returner. He averages 13.3 yards on punt returns and 25.6 yards on kickoff returns to rank second in the Big Ten in both categories.
Iowa (12-0, 8-0) has won a school-record 12 games this season, and plays Michigan State (11-1, 7-1) on Saturday in the Big Ten Conference title game. Kickoff is at 7:17 p.m. (CT) on FOX from Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.