Moss, Jones earn conference awards, also among Hawkeyes named All-Big Ten

The Big Ten announced its defensive and special teams honors on Tuesday, and plenty of Hawkeyes were recognized.

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Iowa defensive back Riley Moss returns an interception for his second pick six of the day during a football game between No. 18 Iowa and No. 17 Indiana at Kinnick Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 4, 2021.

Robert Read, Pregame Editor


Iowa cornerback Riley Moss and wide receiver/returner Charlie Jones have been named the Big Ten Tatum-Woodson Defensive Back of the Year and Rodgers-Dwight Return Specialist of the Year, respectively, the conference announced on Tuesday.

Moss is the fifth Hawkeye to earn Big Ten Defensive Back of the Year, joining, Micah Hyde (2012), Desmond King (2015), Josh Jackson (2017), and Amani Hooker (2018). The senior ranks 11th in the country and third in the Big Ten with four interceptions this season despite missing three games because of an injury. Moss had two interception returns for touchdowns in Iowaโ€™s season-opening win over Indiana.

Jones becomes the second Hawkeye to win Big Ten Return Specialist of the Year, joining Ihmir Smith-Marsette, who won the award in 2018. The senior Buffalo transfer and former walk-on leads the conference and ranks second in the NCAA in total kick return yards (605). Jones returned a kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown in Iowaโ€™s win over Illinois.

Moss and Jones were also both among the 11 Hawkeyes to earn defensive and special teams All-Big Ten honors on Tuesday:

All-Big Ten – Coachesย 

DB Dane Belton โ€“ First Team

DB Riley Moss โ€“ First Team

RS Charlie Jones โ€“ First Team

DL Zach VanValkenburg โ€“ Second Team

DB Matt Hankins โ€“ Second Team

PK Caleb Shudak โ€“ Second Team

LB Jack Campbell โ€“ Third Team

LB Seth Benson โ€“ Honorable Mention

DL Noah Shannon โ€“ Honorable Mention

DB Jack Koerner โ€“ Honorable Mention

P Tory Taylor โ€“ Honorable Mention

All-Big Ten – Mediaย 

DB Dane Belton โ€“ First Team

DB Riley Moss โ€“ First Team

LB Jack Campbell โ€“ First Team

PK Caleb Shudak โ€“ First Team

RS Charlie Jones โ€“ First Team

DL Zach VanValkenburg โ€“ Second Team

DB Matt Hankins โ€“ Second Team

LB Seth Benson โ€“ Honorable Mention

DL Noah Shannon โ€“ Honorable Mention

DB Jack Koerner โ€“ Honorable Mention

P Tory Taylor โ€“ Honorable Mention

Iowaโ€™s seven All-Big Ten defensive honorees led a defensive unit that ranked third in the conference in total defense (315.8 yards allowed per game) and rushing defense (105.8), fourth in scoring defense (17.3 points per game allowed), and sixth in passing defense (210.0). Iowa leads the nation with 22 interceptions.

Belton ties for the national lead in interceptions (five) and has 41 tackles this season, including four tackles for loss. VanValkenburg has started all 12 games at defensive end and totaled 24 solo tackles and 24 assists, with 14 tackles for loss, and 3.5 sacks.ย Hankins has three interceptions and 44 tackles and five pass break-ups.

RELATED: Defending Michigan rushing attack a focus for Iowa ahead of Big Ten Championship

Campbell leads Iowa and ranks second in the Big Ten with 124 tackles, including 74 solo tackles and 84 assists. He also has six pass break-ups, two recovered fumbles, one forced fumble, and five tackles for loss. He returned an interception for a touchdown in Iowaโ€™s win over the Fighting Illini. Koerner has two interceptions and two pass breakups for the Hawkeyes. He has notched 76 tackles, including three solo tackles for loss. Shannon has 39 tackles, three quarterback hurries, and a sack for the Hawkeyes. Shannon had a career-high six tackles versus Purdue. Benson ranks second on the team in both tackles (89) and quarterback hurries (6). He had his first career interception against Iowa State on Sept. 11.

The Hawkeyes earned All-Big Ten honors in all three phases of special teams.

Along with Jones, Iowa’s kicker and punter were honored. Shudak has gone 22-of-25 on field goal attempts this season, with a long of 51 yards. He is 4-of-6 on attempts of 50-plus. Taylor has punted 69 times, with a long of 69 yards, and ranks 16th in the NCAA in average (45.8).

Big Ten offensive honors will be announced on Wednesday.

Michigan defensive end Aidan Hutchinson, who holds the Wolverines’ record for sacks in a season, was named the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year on Tuesday.

Iowa (10-2 overall, 7-2 Big Ten) plays Michigan (11-1, 8-1) in the Big Ten Championship Game on Saturday in Indianapolis. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:17 p.m. inside Lucas Oil Stadium. The game will air on FOX.

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