The player countdown went on hiatus when we learned the Big Ten was altering its scheduling, not allowing non-conference games. That decision meant the start of the season was up in the air. While that remains the case, we’re now officially 58 days from the originally scheduled matchup between Iowa and Minnesota in the Big Ten opener. Whether or not the date remains the same will be determined at a later date. But we were 58 days away when this thing was cut off and here we are, 58 days from the potential starting date once again. So we’re back, baby!
Taylor Fox - RS Freshman
Winthrop, IA (East Buchanon)
6’3”, 284 lbs
2020 projection: Reserve defensive lineman
After losing a big time talent like AJ Epenesa to the NFL and a pair of defensive tackles to graduation in Brady Reiff and Cedric Lattimore, the Hawkeyes have some question marks at defensive line heading into 2020. Taylor Fox is a youngster who has dreamt of stepping into that role his entire life.
Fox is a native of Winthrop, Iowa, a small town (aren’t they all?) in northeast Iowa. He joined the Hawkeyes as a walk-on in the class of 2019 after rounding out a very strong prep career at East Buchanon High School.
As a senior, Fox, was named second-team All-State and was selected to play in the Iowa Shrine Game. He racked up 40 tackles and 11 sacks in his senior campaign, while also averaging 40.4 yards per punt. That’s right, the 6’3” 284 pound defensive lineman can punt. And by “can”, I mean he set the school record for punting yards in a season with 1,351 as a junior.
After arriving on campus just north of 265 pounds, Fox spent the 2019 season as a redshirt. He’s added another 20 or so pounds and is now poised to provide some much needed depth along the defensive line.
On film, Fox shows some nice hands and tremendous power as a prep. He’ll need to improve his footwork and technique as he continues to fill out and add quickness to be as effective at Iowa as he was in high school where he could simply overpower smaller opponents.
In 2020, look for Fox to be a scout team player working to improve those very traits. He’s a name to watch as Iowa continues to build in 2021 and beyond, but is less likely to see meaningful minutes this coming season.