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IOWA CITY, Iowa — University of Iowa senior cornerback Desmond King has been named a semifinalist for the 2016 Bednarik Award, presented annually to college football’s most outstanding defensive player of the year. The announcement was made Monday by Maxwell Football Club President, Ron Jaworski.
The Bednarik award, in conjunction with the NCFAA, will announce three finalists on Nov. 21. Winners of the prestigious award will be unveiled during the Home Depot College Football Awards show on Dec. 8, which will be broadcast live on ESPN.
This year’s 18 semifinalists represent four different conferences, led by nine student-athletes from the SEC and three each from the Pac-12, Big Ten, and ACC.
King (5-foot-11, 200-pounds) is also a semifinalist for the 2016 Jim Thorpe Award and Lott IMPACT Trophy. King was the recipient of the Thorpe Award in 2015 following his junior season.
King has started all eight games at cornerback in 2016 and has 46 career starts. This season he has recorded 26 solo tackles and 15 assists, leads Iowa with six pass break-ups, and had a 41-yard interception return for a touchdown in a win at Purdue.
King, a native of Detroit, also leads Iowa’s special teams through eight games. He is averaging 32 yards per kickoff return to rank sixth in the nation. He is also averaging 9.2 yards on punt returns. King had a career-best 77-yard kickoff return last weekend against Wisconsin.
In 2015, King tied the Iowa single-season record and ranked second in the country with eight interceptions, while recording 72 tackles and a team-high 13 pass breakups. He averaged 14.2 yards on 17 punt returns and 24.4 yards on 29 kickoff returns.
King was named a unanimous consensus All-American in 2015, was the recipient of the Jack Tatum Award and was named the Tatum-Woodson Big Ten Conference Defensive Back of the Year. King was one of five finalists for the Walter Camp Player of the Year Award, and was Iowa’s Most Valuable Player on defense.
King and the Hawkeyes travel to University Park, Pennsylvania, this Saturday, looking for their sixth win of the season against 20th-ranked Penn State. Kickoff is set for 6:30 p.m. (CT). The game will be televised live on BTN.