IOWA CITY, Iowa – University of Iowa senior linebacker Josey Jewell and junior defensive back Joshua Jackson were named semifinalists for the 2017 Bednarik Award, the Maxwell Football Club announced Monday. The award is presented annually to the nation’s best defensive player. Iowa is the only school with two Bednarik Award semifinalists.
In addition, Jewell has also been named a Butkus Award semifinalist honoring the nation’s best linebacker. The Butkus foundation announced today.
Jewell (6-foot-2, 236-pounds), a native of Decorah, Iowa, has played in seven of Iowa’s eight games, leading the team with 81 tackles, which leads the Big Ten and is fourth in the nation. Jewell has led Iowa in tackles in each of the last two seasons (126 in 2015, 124 in 2016). His 2017 totals include 2.5 sacks (24 yards), 9.5 tackles for loss, four pass break-ups, one interception, one forced fumble and one recovered fumble.
Jackson (6-foot-1, 192-pounds), a native of Corinth, Texas has started every game this season. He leads the team in passes defended with 15, which is first in the nation. He is tied for second in the Big Ten with two interceptions. Jackson also had a blocked field goal in a win over North Texas.
Finalists for the 2017 Bednarik Award and 2017 Butkus Award will be announced on Nov. 20. The winner of the Bednarik Award will be revealed as part of the Home Depot College Football Awards Show Dec. 7 at the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta, while the winner of the Butkus Award will be announced on or before Dec. 5.
Jewell joins 14 other linebackers as semifinalists for the Butkus Award. Former Hawkeye Larry Station was a finalist for the award in 1985 and Chad Greenway was a semifinalist in 2005.
The Hawkeyes (5-3, 2-3) host Ohio State (7-1, 5-0) Saturday, Nov. 4. Kickoff is set for 2:30 p.m. (CT) on ESPN. Fans are encouraged to wear black to honor veterans and military members. Fans may purchase tickets by contacting the UI Athletic Ticket Office at (800) IA-HAWKS, or online at hawkeyesports.com.