Three Iowa defenders land on watch lists

Preseason Nagurski, Outland includes King, Jewell, Johnson

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IOWA CITY — Iowa’s All-American cornerback Desmond King, linebacker Josey Jewell and defensive tackle Jaleel Johnson were named to a pair of preseason watch lists Friday morning.

King and Jewell were named to the Nagurski Trophy watch list, which goes to the nation’s top defender. Johnson landed on the Outland Trophy watch list, which is given to the nation’s top interior lineman. King and Johnson are seniors, while Jewell is a junior.

King, who won the Jim Thorpe Award last year as the nation’s top defensive back, earned consensus All-American honors last year. King (5-feet-11, 200 pounds) intercepted eight passes to tie for Iowa’s single-season record and rank second nationally. He also broke up 13 passes and registered 72 tackles. He has started 38 games in three seasons.

Jewell (6-2, 230) was named second-team all-Big Ten last season after leading the Hawkeyes with 126 tackles. He intercepted four passes, earned three sacks and registered 7.5 tackles for loss.

Johnson (6-4, 310) started 14 games last year and has played in 34 games. Johnson finished with 45 tackles last year, including 5.5 tackles for loss and four sacks.

Behind those three defenders, Iowa gave up 11 rushing touchdowns — ranking seventh nationally — and allowed 121.4 rushing yards per game (15th). The Hawkeyes won the Big Ten West Division title and earned their first Rose Bowl bid in 25 years.

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