IOWA CITY, Iowa — University of Iowa junior kicker Keith Duncan has been named the Bakken-Anderson Kicker of the Year in the Big Ten Conference. Duncan and junior defensive end A.J. Epenesa were named first-team All-Big Ten by league coaches and media. Select individual honorees and defensive all-conference teams were announced by the Big Ten on Tuesday. Offensive award winners will be announced Wednesday.
In addition to Epenesa on the first defensive unit, junior defensive back Geno Stone (coaches) and senior defensive back Michael Ojemudia (media) earned second-team honors. Ojemudia was a third-team selection by the coaches and Stone earned media honorable mention.
Earning honorable mention recognition from both coaches and media were junior defensive end Chauncey Golston and senior linebacker Kristian Welch. Senior defensive tackle Cedrick Lattimore earned honorable mention from the coaches, while the media extended honorable mention honors to senior punter Michael Sleep-Dalton.
Duncan is the first Iowa kicker to earn the conference award since its inception in 2011. The award is named after former Wisconsin kicker Jim Bakken and former Michigan State kicker Morten Andersen. Duncan is one of three finalists for the Lou Groza Award as the top kicker in the nation.
Duncan, a native of Grapevine, Texas, who attended Weddington (North Carolina) High School, set Big Ten and Iowa single-season records with 29 made field goals, a total that ranks sixth-best all-time in the NCAA. Duncan also set a school record with six field goal attempts in Iowa’s win over Purdue. His 34 attempts on the season are also a school record.
Epenesa, a native of Glen Carbon, Illinois (Edwardsville High School), earned first-team honors for the second straight year. He was named Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week following wins over Minnesota and Nebraska. He leads the Hawkeyes in tackles for loss (13-69), sacks (9-54), quarterback pressures (nine) and forced fumbles (three). He also has three pass break-ups.
Stone is a native of New Castle, Pennsylvania (Senior High School). He earns honorable mention honors for the second straight season after recording 65 total tackles (43 solo). Stone has three tackles for loss, three pass break-ups, two forced fumbles, one interception, and one recovered fumble.
Ojemudia earns his first all-conference recognition, starting 11 games while missing one contest due to injury. The native of Farmington Hills, Michigan (Harrison High School) leads the team with three interceptions. He recorded 36 solo tackles and 11 assists and has a team-best seven pass break-ups.
Welch joined the Iowa program from Iola-Scandinavia High School in Iola, Wisconsin. He started nine games at middle linebacker and led the team in tackles (80), despite missing three games due to injury. Welch recorded double figure tackles in Iowa’s final three games following his injury, helping the Hawkeyes to three straight wins. Welch totaled 7.5 tackles for loss, three sacks, three pass break-ups, and one forced fumble.
Golston was also recognized by both coaches and media while earning his first all-conference honors. The native of Detroit (East English Valley Prep High School) ranked second to Epenesa in tackles for loss (8.5-23). He also had 2.5 sacks, four pass break-ups, one interception, and seven quarterback pressures while starting all 12 games.
Lattimore, a native of Redford, Michigan, was a prep teammate of Golston before joining the Hawkeyes. He started all 12 games, recording 23 solo tackles and 17 assists. Lattimore also had three tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks, and a recovered fumble.
Sleep-Dalton joined the Hawkeye program as a graduate transfer. He is a native of Geelong, Australia. Sleep-Dalton averaged 42.1 yards on 54 punts, with a long of 63 yards. He placed 21 punts inside the opponent 20, with just four touchbacks, and had 10 punts of 50 yards or more.
Senior quarterback Nate Stanley is Iowa’s Sportsmanship Award recipient. The native of Menomonie, Wisconsin (Menomonie High School) started all 12 games in 2019 and all 38 games over the past three seasons as Iowa has posted a 26-12 record. Stanley passed for more than 2,700 yards with 14 touchdowns this season. He ranks second in career passing touchdowns (66) and pass attempts (1,128), and third in completions (655), passing yards (8,089), and total offense (7,993).
Iowa (9-3 overall, 6-3 Big Ten) is ranked 18th in the current Associated Press rankings and 19th in the coaches poll. The Hawkeyes are bowl eligible for the 18th time in the last 19 seasons. Iowa’s bowl destination and opponent will be announced Sunday.