Iowa's Josh Jackson wins Jack Tatum Award

Junior named best defensive back in country

Iowa defensive back Josh Jackson closes on Nebraska running back Mikale Wilbon (21) as Wilbon turns to run after a reception during Saturday’s game in Lincoln, Neb. Jackson was named winner of the Jack Tatum Award as the nation’s top defensive back. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)
Iowa defensive back Josh Jackson closes on Nebraska running back Mikale Wilbon (21) as Wilbon turns to run after a reception during Saturday’s game in Lincoln, Neb. Jackson was named winner of the Jack Tatum Award as the nation’s top defensive back. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)

IOWA CITY — Iowa junior defensive back Josh Jackson has won the 2017 Jack Tatum Award as the nation’s best defensive back. the Touchdown Club of Columbus announced Tuesday.

The award is named for the late Ohio State and NFL legend Jack Tatum.

Jackson, a 6-foot-1, 192-pounder from Corinth, Texas, is tied as the national lead with seven interceptions. He leads the nation with 25 passes defended and is tied for second in interception return touchdowns (two) and pass breakups (18).

Jackson ranks third in interception return yards (163).

His seven interceptions rank fourth at Iowa for a single season, one behind Desmond King (2015), Lou King (1981) and Nile Kinnick (1939).

Jackson is one of three finalists for the Jim Thorpe Award, which also is awarded to the top defensive back in the nation.

Jackson is the second Hawkeye in the past three seasons to earn the Jack Tatum Award. King earned the award in 2015.

The award will be presented during the 63rd Touchdown Club of Columbus Awards on Feb. 17.

Iowa (7-5) will find out its bowl destination on Sunday.

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