Dec. 13, 2015
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IOWA CITY, Iowa — University of Iowa defensive back Desmond King has been named to the Associated Press first team All-America squad, while senior center Austin Blythe was named to the third team. The Associated Press All-America teams were announced Sunday.
The Associated Press honor marks at least the third outlet that has named King as a first team All-American, as he was recently named to teams selected by USA Today and SI.com. King was honored Thursday as the receipient of the Jim Thorpe Award, which goes to the top defensive back in the nation.
King’s selection gives the Iowa football program a first team selection on the Associated Press team for the second straight season, as offensive tackle Brandon Scherff earned consensus All-America honors a year ago.
King is the first Hawkeye defensive back to earn first team All-America honors since Merton Hanks in 1990. He is the 14th Hawkeye to earn first team honors under coach Kirk Ferentz.
King was earlier named the Tatum-Woodson Big Ten Conference Defensive Back of the Year and was a first team All-Big Ten selection. King was also one of five Players to Watch for the Walter Camp Player of the Year Award.
King (5-foot-11, 200-pounds), is a junior from Detroit, Michigan (East English Village HS). He is second in the nation with eight interceptions. King has multiple interceptions in two games, with two thefts in wins over Pittsburgh and Wisconsin. He is the first Hawkeye with multiple multi-interception games in a season since Tyler Sash in 2009.
King’s eight interceptions tie the Iowa single-season record, a mark previously reached by Heisman Trophy winner Nile Kinnick (1939) and Lou King (1981). His seventh interception of the season was returned 88 yards for a touchdown in a win over Maryland, the second touchdown return of his career (Indiana, 2014).
King has recorded 67 tackles, with one tackle for loss, and 12 pass break-ups to go with his eight interceptions. King also has handled KO returns (25.6) and punt returns (12.7) throughout the season.
King was named the Jim Thorpe national Defensive Player of the Week and Big Ten Conference Defensive Player of the Week following Iowa’s win at Wisconsin.
Blythe was one of three finalists for the 2015 Rimington Trophy, which is presented annually to the Most Outstanding Center in NCAA Division I college football. He was also named honorable mention All-America by SI.com.
Blythe (6-foot-3, 290-pounds) has started all 13 games in 2015. He is a native of Williamsburg, Iowa. Blythe has started 44 straight games over the past three years and has 48 career starts. He earned second team All-Big Ten honors this season and has been a game captain for all 13 games.
Blythe has played a key role for the Hawkeye offense in 2015. The Hawkeye offense is averaging 32.1 points per game, 192 rushing yards and 201.8 passing yards per game. Iowa scored over 30 points in five straight Big Ten games for the first time ever, and the Hawkeyes rank among the national leaders in time of possession.
Blythe was also named second team All-Big Ten by league coaches in 2014, and earned honorable mention recognition in 2013. He started nine games at right guard as a redshirt freshman in 2012. Blythe earned first team Freshman All-America honors from Scout.com in 2012 after starting nine games at right guard. He started all 13 games at center in 2013. He has been named to Iowa’s Leadership Group for four straight years.
Iowa (12-1), will meet Stanford (11-2) in the 2016 Rose Bowl on New Year’s Day (4:10 p.m. CT), in Pasadena. Iowa completed a perfect regular season with a school-record 12 wins, winning the West Division before falling to Michigan State in the Big Ten Championship (16-13).