IOWA CITY, Iowa — University of Iowa junior punter Tory Taylor and senior defensive back Kaevon Merriweather have earned Big Ten Player of the Week honors following Iowa’s 27-10 road win at Rutgers. The announcement was made Monday by the Big Ten Conference office, with Taylor earning special teams recognition and Merriweather sharing the defensive honor.
Taylor earns the Big Ten honor for the second time this season (South Dakota State), and third time in his career, for his punting. He averaged 42.6 yards on five punts at Rutgers, with a long of 51 yards. Four of his punts were downed inside the Rutgers 20 with the Hawkeyes winning the field position battle. Rutgers had just one punt return for negative two yards.
The Melbourne, Australia, native was tabbed preseason second-team All-America by Athlon Sports and was named to the Ray Guy Award Preseason Watch List. He was a semifinalist for the Ray Guy Award in 2021, while earning honorable mention All-Big Ten accolades.
Merriweather, a native of Belleville, Michigan (Belleville High School), earns his first Big Ten honor. He recovered and returned a Rutgers fumble 30 yards for a touchdown in the second quarter. It was the eighth fumble return for a touchdown and fifth longest in school history. Later in the contest, he collected his first interception of the season, returning the theft 33 yards. He also had three tackles and one pass break-up on a fourth-down play in the fourth quarter.
Iowa (3-1, 1-0) hosts No. 4 Michigan (4-0, 1-0) in Kinnick Stadium on Saturday at 11:05 a.m. CT. The game is sold out and will be televised nationally on FOX and broadcast on the Hawkeye Radio Network.