IOWA CITY, Iowa — Junior defensive back Cooper DeJean will miss the remainder of the 2023 football season, University of Iowa Moon Family Head Football Coach Kirk Ferentz announced Wednesday. DeJean suffered an injury to his lower leg.
“This is truly heartbreaking for Cooper,” Ferentz said. “He has played extremely well and is a real playmaker on our team. We will all support Cooper during his recovery, which will continue into the new year.”
“This has been a season filled with challenges for our team. I am proud of how our players have responded with tremendous grit and determination. We are focused on Saturday,” added Ferentz.
DeJean is one of the nation’s top college football players in 2023. He is a finalist for the Nagurski Award and is also a semifinalist for the Jim Thorpe, Lott IMPACT and Bednarik awards.
The Odebolt, Iowa, played nearly 400 snaps in coverage this season without giving up a touchdown. He leads the Hawkeyes in pass break-ups (5), is second in interceptions (2) and seventh in tackles (41) in 2023.
DeJean leads the Big Ten and ranks 13th nationally with an 11.5 punt return average. He had a 70-yard game-deciding touchdown late in the fourth quarter against Michigan State.