Final Notes 2017

Hawkeye Fan Shop — A Black & Gold Store | Hawk Talk Monthly — January 2018 | Kinnick Edge | Final Notes 2017

     The University of Iowa (8-5) defeated Boston College (7-6), 27-20, at the New Era Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium in New York City on Wednesday, Dec. 27.
     The Hawkeyes improved to 15-15-1 in 31 bowl game appearances.  
     Iowa was bowl eligible for the 16th time under head coach Kirk Ferentz, and has posted a 7-8 record in 15 bowl appearances under Ferentz. Since the 2001 season, only Ohio State and Wisconsin have won more bowl games (including the FBS championship game) than Iowa among Big Ten Teams.
     The University of Iowa football program was chosen to receive the prestigious 2017 Disney Sports Spirit Award after launching a heart-warming tradition at its home games this season that is touching the lives of scores of young patients at the university’s Stead Family Children’s Hospital.
     Disney Sports Vice President Faron Kelley presented the prestigious award to Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz at The Home Depot College Football Awards presented by GILDAN, on Dec. 7 at the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta.
     In a tradition that started at the 2017 season opener, fans inside Kinnick Stadium and patients and families inside the UI Stead Family Children’s Hospital exchanged waves at the end of the first quarter of each home game.
     The UI Stead Family Children’s Hospital opened in 2017. It is connected to the south end of the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics and overlooks Kinnick Stadium from the southeast grandstands. During Iowa football home games, patients and their families can watch the game from the top floor (Level 12), one of the highest vantage points in Iowa City.
     The wave highlights the relationship between the football team and the hospital. The Hawkeyes’ “Touchdowns for Kids” campaign has long been a fundraiser and during every game, a “Kid Captain” from the hospital receives special recognition from the Hawkeye football program.
     DB Josh Jackson and LB Josey Jewell and junior defensive back Josh Jackson were named unanimous consensus first team All-Americans. The defensive duo garnered first team All-America honors from the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA), Walter Camp Foundation, Football Writers Association of America (FWAA), the Associated Press, and Sporting News.
     They also earned first team All-America honors from USA Today,, College Sports Madness, College Football News,, and Phil Steele.
     Jewell and Jackson are the 24th and 25th consensus All-Americans in Iowa history. This year marks the fifth time in program history that a pair of Hawkeyes earned consensus All-America honors in the same season. Jewell and Jackson join Robert Gallery and Nate Kaeding (2003), Eric Steinbach and Dallas Clark (2002), Chuck Long and Larry Station (1985), and Andre Tippett and Reggie Roby (1981).
     Senior LB Josey Jewell and junior DB Josh Jackson were recognized as the best players in the country at their respective positions by the Touchdown Club of Columbus. Jewell was the recipient of the Jack Lambert Award as the best linebacker in the nation and Jackson was the recipient of the Jack Tatum Award as the best defensive back in the nation.
     Jewell led the Big Ten and ranks fourth in the nation with 11.3 tackles per game. He led the Big Ten and ranks 10th nationally with 136 tackles. He had a career-high and team-best 13.5 tackles-for-loss, and a career-high 4.5 sacks. He had two of Iowa’s NCAA-best 21 interceptions.
     Jackson led the country in interceptions (8) and passes defended (26). He has 18 pass breakups, fourth in the NCAA. He ranks third in the country in interception return yards (168).
     Kirk Ferentz (143-97) tied Hayden Fry (143-89-6) as the Hawkeyes’ all-time winningest football coach with a 27-20 win at the Pinstripe Bowl. Ferentz has 143 overall wins and 86 Big Ten wins as Iowa’s head coach. The 86 conference wins rank sixth among the conference’s all-time winningest coaches in Big Ten games.
     Ferentz’s 143 wins in all games coached as a member of the Big Ten Conference rank fifth in league history. He was at least eight wins in three straight seasons and owns a 28-12 mark from 2015-17,
     Both Ferentz (143, 86) and Fry (143, 96) rank in the top six in overall wins and Big Ten wins. Only Iowa and Michigan have two coaches ranked in the top 10 of both win categories (Bo Schembechler 194, 143; and Lloyd Carr 122, 81).
     Iowa is the only school in the country to have just two head football coaches since 1979.
     Kirk Ferentz completed his 19th season as Iowa’s head football coach. He is the longest tenured active head coach in college football. Ferentz was named Iowa head coach on Dec. 2, 1998. Gary Patterson of TCU is No. 2 in coaching tenure. Patterson’s first year with the Horned Frogs was 2001. Among Big Ten coaches, only Pat Fitzgerald (2006) and Mark Dantonio (2007) have been at their current schools for 10 seasons or more. Iowa is the only school to have just two head football coaches since 1979.

     Iowa has played 1,233 games since beginning football in 1889. Iowa’s overall record is 641-553-39 (.535). That includes a 400-219-16 (.643) record in home games, a 241-334-23 (.421) record in games away from Iowa City, a 324-374-25 (.465) mark in Big Ten games and a 284-184-15 (.607) record in Kinnick Stadium.
     LB Josey Jewell was named the 2017 Lott IMPACT Trophy winner by the Pacific Club IMPACT Foundation on Dec. 11.         
     The trophy, given to the nation’s best defensive IMPACT player, was presented at the Pacific Club in Newport Beach, California, by Ronnie Lott. In addition, Jewell earned $25,000 for the university’s general scholarship fund. Jewell is the eighth player to earn a national player of the year award on nine occasions under head coach Kirk Ferentz.
     Jewell, a native of Decorah, Iowa, earned first-team honors by Big Ten coaches and media, Associated Press, and Walter Camp. Former Iowa linebacker James Morris was a finalist for the award in 2013, while former defensive back Desmond King was a semifinalist in 2016.
     Junior DB Josh Jackson, senior LB Josey Jewell, and senior OL Sean Welsh earned first-team All-Big Ten honors in 2017. Jewell was named the conference’s defensive player of the year and linebacker of the year, and Jackson was named defensive back of the year.
Jackson, Jewell, and Welsh were three of 10 Hawkeyes named to an all-conference team. Sophomore TE Noah Fant, sophomore DE Anthony Nelson, and senior RB Akrum Wadley earned third-team accolades, and senior DE Nathan Bazata, junior C James Daniels, senior LB Ben Niemann, and sophomore QB Nate Stanley were named honorable mention.
     Iowa outscored its opponents 123-60 in the fourth quarter. QB Nate Stanley had a 137.4 passing efficiency in the fourth quarter and overtime (135.4 overall). The numbers include 46 completions in 84 attempts for 599 yards, seven touchdowns and two interceptions. Iowa scored points in the final four minutes to tie the game or take the lead against Iowa State, Penn State, Northwestern, and Boston College.
     Senior LB Josey Jewell won the Lott IMPACT Trophy, presented to the nation’s best defensive IMPACT player. He was one of five finalists for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy and was named the Nagurski-Woodson Defensive Player of the Year and Butkus-Fitzgerald Linebacker of the Year by the Big Ten Conference. He led the Big Ten and ranked third in the nation with 11.3 tackles per game.
     Jewell had a single-season career-high 136 tackles this season, tops in the Big Ten and 10th nationally. He missed the Northwestern game due to injury, snapping a streak of 37 consecutive starts.
•   Unanimous Consensus All-American.
•   Jewell has a career-high and team-best 13.5 tackles-for-loss, and a career-high 4.5 sacks. He had two of Iowa’s NCAA-best 21 interceptions.
•   Jewell is the third Hawkeye in program history to have three seasons with at least 115 tackles (Larry Station 83, 84, 85; Abdul Hodge 03, 04, 05). Jewell has led the team in tackles in each of the last three seasons (126 in 2015, 124 in 2016, 136 in 2017).
•   Jewell has 437 career tackles, fourth all-time in program history behind Abdul Hodge (453), Andre Jackson (465), and Larry Station (492). He passed Brad Quast (435) at the Pinstripe Bowl.
•   Jewell had 22 career games with double-digit tackles, including nine in 2017. He matched his career high with 16 tackles vs. Penn State and at Michigan State.
•   Jewell was named Walter Camp, Lott IMPACT, and Bednarik Award national and Big Ten Conference Defensive Player of the Week following Iowa’s 24-3 win over Wyoming on Sept. 2. He led Iowa with 14 tackles, including seven solo stops.
•   Jewell was named Lott IMPACT Trophy Player of the Week after registering 13 tackles, three pass breakups, and two sacks against Purdue.
•   Jewell was named Big Ten co-Defensive Player of the Week, Bronko Nagurski Defensive Player of the Week, Bednarik Award, and College Sports Madness Defensive Player of the Week following his performance vs. No. 4 Penn State.  He matched his career best with 16 tackles, including 11 solo stops.  He added three tackles for loss, two pass break-ups, and a recovered fumble.  His fifth career interception and 33-yard return in the second quarter led to Iowa’s first touchdown of the game.
•   Jewell was named midseason first team All-American by five media outlets, including Associated Press,,, Sporting News, and The All-American.
     Junior DB Josh Jackson was named Tatum-Woodson Defensive Back of the Year by the Big Ten Conference. He is the third Hawkeye to earn the honor in the award’s seven-year history (Micah Hyde, 2012; Desmond King, 2015). He was one of three finalists for the Jim Thorpe Award, presented annually to the best defensive back in college football.
•   Announced Jan. 3 he would forgo senior season and enter the 2018 NFL Draft.
•   Unanimous Consensus All-American.
•   Jackson led the country in interceptions (8) and passes defended (26). He had 18 pass breakups, tied for fourth in the NCAA. He ranks third in interception return yards (168).
•   Jackson’s eight interceptions tied the school record for single-season interceptions — Desmond King (2015), Lou King (1981), and Nile Kinnick (1939).
•   Jackson was named Big Ten Conference Co-Defensive Player of the Week after returning two interceptions for touchdowns against Wisconsin (43, 52).
•   Jackson was named Walter Camp National Defensive Player of the Week and Big Ten Conference Defensive Player of the Week after tying a school record with three interceptions in Iowa’s 55-24 win over No. 3 Ohio State on Nov. 4.
•   Jackson started all 13 games in 2017 after entering the year with one career start. He was a wide receiver in Iowa’s 2015 spring camp.
     Second-year tight ends Noah Fant (sophomore) and T.J. Hockenson (redshirt freshman) combined for 54 receptions this season. Among those 54 receptions, all but eight resulted in a touchdown (14) or first down (32).
     Fant led all FBS tight ends with 16.5 yards per catch. He had 30 receptions, including a team-high 11 touchdowns, tied for most in the country among FBS tight ends. The 11 touchdowns were a single-season record for an Iowa tight end, and the most by a Hawkeye since Marvin McNutt caught 12 touchdown passes in 2012.
     Hockenson had 24 receptions, including three touchdowns and 17 catches that resulted in a first down. TE Nate Wieting contributed with one catch on the season. His first career reception took Iowa to the 1-yard line and set up FB Drake Kulick’s eventual game-winning touchdown at the Pinstripe Bowl. 
     Senior RB Akrum Wadley is the fourth Hawkeye in program history to produce back-to-back 1,000-yard rushing seasons. Wadley rushed for 1,109 yards in 2017. He rushed for 1,081 yards in 2016. The other Hawkeyes with back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons include Sedrick Shaw (1,002 in 1994; 1,477 in 1995; 1,116 in 1996), Ladell Betts (1,090 in 2000; 1,060 in 2001), and Fred Russell (1,264 in 2002; 1,355 in 2003).
     Wadley also had at least 25 receptions in each of the last two seasons. He is one of 11 players in Big Ten history with consecutive seasons of 1,000-plus rushing yards and 25-plus receptions (2017: 1,021/26 | 2016: 1,081/36).
     RB Akrum Wadley was named Pinstripe Bowl MVP. He had an Iowa bowl record 171 kickoff return yards. The previous record was held by C.J. Jones (169 vs. USC, 2003 Orange Bowl). His 72-yard KO return at the end of the first quarter was a career-long.
•   Wadley finished the game with a career-high 283 all-purpose yards (88 rushing, 24 receiving, 171 kickoff return).  He has 3,904 career all-purpose yards, ninth most in program history (2,872 rush, 761 receiving, 271 KO returns).
•   Wadley rushed 22 times for 88 yards against Boston College. He has 536 career carries for 2,872 rushing yards, fifth all-time.
•   Wadley had one rushing touchdown in the bowl win (5 yards). He has 28 career rushing touchdowns, fourth all-time, 35 career touchdowns, tying Sedrick Shaw for second all-time, and 210 career points, 10th all-time.
     QB Nate Stanley threw an 8-yard touchdown to TE Noah Fant at the Pinstripe Bowl to tie Brand Banks (26) for most touchdowns in a single season. Stanley was one touchdown throw shy of matching Chuck Long for Iowa’s single-season school record. Long threw 27 touchdowns in 1985. Stanley’s 26 touchdown passes rank third in the Big Ten and tie for 21st in the nation.
     Stanley threw five touchdown passes in a game twice this season (at Iowa State, vs. Ohio State). He is the first Hawkeye to have two five-touchdown passing games in the same season. Stanley’s five TD passes against Ohio State tied a Kinnick Stadium record (Chuck Long in 1985, Fred Riddle in 1963).
     In program history, only Stanley and Chuck Long have two career games with five or more touchdowns. Long threw six TDs against Texas in 1984 and six against Northwestern in 1985.
      Stanley threw 12 touchdowns in the first four games of the season, becoming the first quarterback in program history to throw 12 touchdown passes in their first four starts. The four-game stretch was Iowa’s best since Chuck Hartlieb threw 12 touchdowns over a four-game stretch in 1987. Chuck Long threw 14 touchdowns in the first four games in 1985.
     Stanley threw three touchdowns in his first career start Week 1. The last quarterback to do that was Ricky Stanzi (3, vs. Florida Atlantic in 2008). Since, 1999, the only other quarterback to throw three or more touchdowns in his first career start under Ferentz was Jon Beutjer (4, at Indiana in 2000).  
     Stanley threw for five touchdowns and 333 yards against Iowa State in Week 2, becoming the first Iowa quarterback with 300-plus passing yards and five-plus touchdown passes since Chuck Hartlieb vs. Northwestern in 1987.
     Senior WR Matt VandeBerg played in all 13 games this season, raising his career total to 54, one more than Desmond King for most games played in program history. VandeBerg ended his career having at least one reception in 32 consecutive games played. He has 134 career receptions, 10th most in program history, and 1,686 career receiving yards, 15th in program history.
     VandeBerg missed Iowa’s final nine games of 2016 due to a foot injury sustained in practice on Sept. 26. He played in the first four games of the season, leading the team in receptions, receiving yards, and receiving touchdowns (19-284-3 TDs) before the injury. On Dec. 21, 2016, the Big Ten Conference granted the University of Iowa’s medical hardship waiver request on behalf of VandeBerg and granted the wide receiver a fifth year of eligibility.
     Iowa led the nation with 21 interceptions. The Hawkeyes had four pick-sixes this season, tied for fourth in the country (Brandon Snyder 89 vs. Illinois; Amani Hooker 30 vs. Ohio State; Josh Jackson 43 vs. Wisconsin; Josh Jackson 52 vs. Wisconsin). The four pick-sixes ties a team single-season record (1995, 2010, 2015, 2017). Jackson led the country with eight interceptions.
     Iowa ranked No. 17 nationally in scoring defense, allowing 19.9 points per game. The Hawkeyes are one of nine teams to rank in the top 25 in scoring defense in each of the last three seasons (Alabama, Clemson, Iowa, Michigan, Northwestern, Ohio State, San Diego State, Washington, Wisconsin).
     DE Anthony Nelson was named a CoSIDA first team Academic All-American and DE Parker Hesse was named a CoSIDA second team Academic All-American. The announcement was made Dec. 14 by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA). Both are members of Iowa’s 2017 Leadership Group.
     Hesse is a junior from Waukon, Iowa (Waukon).  He carries a 3.72 GPA and has earned his degree in Interdepartmental Studies.  He was named Academic All-Big Ten in 2015. 2016, and 2017.  Hesse earned honorable mention All-Big Ten honors in 2016 and was named to the Big Ten All-Freshman team by in 2015. 
     Nelson (6-foot-7, 260 pounds) is a sophomore from Urbandale, Iowa (Waukee).  He earned Academic All-Big Ten honors in 2016 and 2017.  Nelson holds a 3.89 GPA and is an accounting major. 
     The Hawkeyes entered the season with seven players returning on what was the top offensive line in the country in 2016, but season-ending injuries to senior tackles Ike Boettger and Boone Myers cleared the depth chart for redshirt freshman Alaric Jackson and true freshman Tristan Wirfs.
     Jackson started every regular season game at left tackle, but did not play in the Pinstripe Bowl. He was named a first team Freshman All-American by the Football Writers Association of America.
     Wirfs started the last seven regular season games at right tackle, and started at left tackle in Jackson’s absence at the Pinstripe Bowl. Wirfs is the first true freshman in Ferentz’s 19 seasons to start at offensive tackle, and only the fourth true freshman under Ferentz to ever start on the offensive line. Center James Daniels, a junior in 2017, made two starts at left guard in 2015. The other two true freshman include Byran Bulaga in 2007 (5 games at LG) and Mike Jones in 2003 (seven games at left guard).
     Senior offensive lineman Boone Myers underwent ankle surgery during the week prior to Iowa’s win over Minnesota and missed the remainder of the season.  Myers joined fellow senior Ike Boettger on the injured list, as Boettger suffered an Achilles injury in Week 2 at Iowa State and was ruled out for the season.  Myers had 25 career starts, while Boettger started 21 times in his career.
     Six months after suffering an ACL injury during spring camp, FS Brandon Snyder returned the lineup on Oct. 7 to help Iowa defeat Illinois, 45-16. Snyder started the contest and contributed with three tackles, two pass breakups, and one interception, an 89-yard pick six that halted Illinois’ potential go-ahead touchdown drive.
     The 89-yard interception return for a touchdown ties for the sixth longest in school history and was Iowa’s longest play this season. Iowa has had at least one pick-six every year since 2009.
     The game was Snyder’s only appearance of the season. He was sidelined again against Northwestern, Minnesota, and Ohio State due to injury, and head coach Kirk Ferentz announced on Nov. 7 he would miss the rest of the season due to the same injury suffered in spring camp.
     RB Akrum Wadley and RB James Butler combined for 192 rushing yards on 30 attempts in Iowa’s 55-24 win against No. 3 Ohio State. The duo averaged 6.4 yard per attempt. RB Toren Young added 47 yards rushing on five attempts, including a six-yard touchdown rush in the fourth quarter.
     Wadley added 40 yards on three receptions to total 158 all-purpose yards on the day.
     Senior RB Akrum Wadley and true freshman WR Ihmir Smith-Marsette, both graduates of Weequahic (WEEK-way) High School in Newark, New Jersey, combined for four touchdowns in Iowa’s 44-41 overtime win at Iowa State on Sept. 9. Wadley turned a short crossing route into a 46-yard touchdown reception in the final minutes of the fourth quarter to tie the game, 38-38, and Smith-Marsette caught a five-yard touchdown pass in the first overtime to win the game, 44-41.
     Wadley completed the game with 118 rushing yards on a career-high 28 attempts, four receptions for 72 yards and three KO returns for 70 yards. Smith-Marsette finished his first career start with four receptions, 36 yards, and two touchdowns, including a 15-yard diving score in the fourth quarter, and one rushing attempt for seven yards.
     QB Nathan Stanley was named the Manning Award National Quarterback of the Week and a College Football Performance Award honorable mention honoree following Iowa’s 55-24 win over No. 3 Ohio State on Nov. 4.
     Stanley tied a Kinnick Stadium record with five touchdown passes and completed 20-of-31 pass attempts for 226 yards, with touchdown passes of 10, 25, 3, 2, and 2 yards. He directed the Iowa offense that had no turnovers and 487 yards total offense.  Ohio State entered the game allowing 18.2 points and 302.5 yards total offense in its previous eight games.  Iowa’s offense gained 243 rushing yards and 244 passing yards in the contest.
     Stanley led Iowa to its fourth home win in its last five meetings against AP top five opponents. He is the only player in the last 20 years to throw for five touchdowns and zero interceptions against the Buckeyes.