9 Hawkeyes Named AP All-Big Ten; Campbell Named Defensive Player of the Year

IOWA CITY, Iowa — University of Iowa senior tight end Sam LaPorta and senior linebacker Jack Campbell have been named first team All-Big Ten selections. Campbell was also voted as the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year. The Associated Press announced the awards Wednesday.

Seven Hawkeyes were named second team selections. Kicker Drew Stevens, defensive end Lukas Van Ness, linebacker Seth Benson, cornerback Riley Moss, cornerback Cooper DeJean, safety Kaevon Merriweather and punter Tory Taylor.

LaPorta leads Iowa in both receptions and receiving yards, totaling 53 receptions for 601 yards and a touchdown. LaPorta was injured in the first quarter of the win at Minnesota and did not play against Nebraska. LaPorta’s career totals include 148 receptions for 1,730 yards to rank 15th in career receiving yards at Iowa. Among tight ends, LaPorta ranks first in career receptions and second to Marv Cook in receiving yards.

Campbell earned first-team honors after recording 118 tackles in 12 games. The Cedar Falls, Iowa, native won the William V. Campbell Trophy and is a finalist for the Butkus Award as the nation’s top linebacker.

Stevens is a true freshman who joined the program as a walk-on. He leads the team in scoring with 69 points, connecting on 16-of-18 field goals and all 21 PAT attempts. Stevens has a long of 54 yards. He also has handled kickoffs throughout the season, with 29 touchbacks on 51 kicks.

Van Ness has 34 stops while playing both end and tackle. Van Ness leads the team with 9.5 tackles for loss and tallied six sacks to share the team lead.

Benson started all 12 games while playing both the weakside and outside linebacker positions. The senior is second to Campbell with 88 tackles, including 4.5 tackles for loss, with one interception and a fumble recovery.

Moss, a senior, who was named the Tatum-Woodson Defensive Back of the Year in 2021, also repeats as a first-team selection. He recorded 46 tackles and led the team with 10 pass break-ups and had one interception. He is tied for seventh with 11 career interceptions.

DeJean made a significant impact for the Hawkeyes in his sophomore season. He played both cornerback and the CASH linebacker position in recording 68 tackles. DeJean leads Iowa with four interceptions for 77 yards, with two touchdowns. He also averages 17.6 yards on seven punt returns.

Merriweather, a senior, has started every game and ranks second on the team with three interceptions. He has 47 tackles and scored a defensive touchdown with a fumble return in Iowa’s win at Rutgers. He was named Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week for his play against the Scarlet Knights.

Taylor has handled all punting duties, averaging 45.1 yards on 74 punts, with a long of 70 yards. In his junior season Taylor placed 32 punts inside the 20 with just 11 touchbacks. He has 22 punts of 50 yards or more, while opponents are averaging just 3.7 yards on 18 returns.

Iowa (7-5, 5-4) will face Kentucky (7-5, 3-5) in the TransPerfect Music City Bowl on Saturday, Dec. 31 in Nashville (11 a.m. CT, ESPN). The Hawkeyes earned their 20th bowl invite over the past 24 seasons under Ferentz.