IOWA CITY, Iowa — Two University of Iowa football student-athletes were recognized by the Big Ten Conference Office on Monday. Junior defensive back Cooper DeJean was named the league’s Special Teams Player of the Week, while senior linebacker Nick Jackson was tabbed Co-Defensive Player of the Week for their performances in Iowa’s 26-16 comeback win over Michigan State.
With the game tied at 16, DeJean returned a punt 70 yards for the game-winning score with 3:45 remaining in the fourth quarter. DeJean (6-foot-1, 207 pounds) also had six tackles and thwarted a scoring threat by intercepting his first pass of the season in the end zone in the second period. The Odebolt, Iowa, native is leading the Big Ten and ranks 12th nationally with a 14.2 average and he is one of 18 players in the country with a punt return touchdown.
Jackson (6-foot, 237 pounds) had 10 tackles and a forced fumble late in the fourth quarter to preserve Iowa’s fourth victory. With the Hawkeyes leading by seven late in the fourth quarter, Jackson got his helmet on the football to force the third of four takeaways by the Hawkeye defense. The Atlanta native has registered double-digit tackles each of the last two games. Jackson ranks fourth in the conference and 30th nationally in tackles per contest (9.2 per game).
This marks the second time this season that Hawkeye football players have earned conference recognition. Defensive back Sebastian Castro was honored as Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week for his efforts in Iowa’s win at Iowa State on Sept. 9.
Iowa (4-1, 1-1) next hosts Purdue (2-3, 1-1) in its Homecoming contest Saturday on Duke Slater Field at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City (2:30 p.m. CT, Peacock).