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Iowa Football: Jack Campbell Named Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week

The junior from Cedar Falls helped turn the tide for the Hawkeyes in a win over CSU.

Syndication: HawkCentral
Junior linebacker Jack Campbell continues to impress.
Joseph Cress/Iowa City Press-Citizen via Imagn Content Services, LLC

It wasn’t the prettiest of wins on Saturday, but the Hawkeyes did come away victorious 24-14 to extend the current winning streak to 10 games. While the Iowa defense had some issues getting off the field with Colorado State converting on 48% of their third downs, Phil Parker’s bunch kicked things into high gear in the second half.

A big piece of that was the incredible performance of junior linebacker Jack Campbell. Campbell burst onto the scene a season ago and is now the leader of Iowa’s impressive linebacking group. On Saturday he again stole the show by racking up an absurd 18 tackles (a career high), three passes broken up and a crucial fumble recovery.

That recovery turned the tides in Iowa’s favor. On second and 23 from their own 10 yard line with a 14-7 third quarter lead, the Rams handed off to A’Jon Vivens who fumbled to the 6 yard line. Campbell was right their to jump on the ball and set up the Iowa offense for an easy touchdown a play later to tie things up. Iowa never looked back.

On Monday, Campbell was recognized by the Big Ten as the conference’s Defensive Player of the Week.

The honor was clearly warranted given the incredible production from Campbell. But this was not his first impressive performance. Perhaps the defining moment of the Cedar Falls native’s young career came in week two when he scooped up a Breece Hall fumble forced by fellow linebacker Jestin Jacobs and scampered into the endzone for a touchdown.

Campbell continued to impress game after game. Through the first four games of the 2021 season, Campbell has a team-leading 43 total tackles. That includes 19 solos. Saturday’s fumble recovery was his second of the season, as noted, to go along with one fumble forced. He also has three passes broken up and 1.5 tackles for loss.

In five games as a sophomore in 2020, Campbell had 29 tackles, including 21 solos, with 4.5 tackles for loss, one sack, three pass break-ups, one interception and one forced fumble.

The Hawkeyes have now had three different players earn weekly accolades from the Big Ten Conference this season. Cornerback Riley Moss was named Defensive Player of the Week in week one after taking two interceptions back for touchdowns. In week two, punter Tory Taylor was named Co-Special Teams Player of the Week.

The Hawkeyes are back in action this Friday as they travel to unbeaten Maryland for a 7pm CT kick. The game will be broadcast on FS1.