In this blazing summer heat, nothing will help cool you off like the thoughts of fall and Hawkeye football. This Iowa football team will once again feature a stout defense and plenty of new and exciting players to watch on offense. In its annual poll of all things Big Ten football, Cleveland.com has some high praise for an Iowa defender and the team as a whole.

The Cedar Rapids Gazette reports that Big Ten beat writers have picked Iowa's Cooper DeJean as the preseason favorite for Defensive Player of the Year. The Iowa defender had five interceptions last season and returned three for touchdowns. He edged out Illinois lineman Jer'Zahn Newton by just one point, according to the Gazette. It marks the second straight year that an Iowa player earned preseason honors for defensive player of the year. Lineback Jack Campbell was honored last season and won the postseason award.

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So where do Big Ten writers think this Iowa team will finish in the Big Ten? According to the Gazette, Iowa was picked to finish second in the Big Ten West behind Wisconsin. The Badgers are the favorites in the division for the fourth straight year, although Iowa trailed this preseason by just one point in the poll. Michigan was picked to win the Big Ten East just edging out rival Ohio State and Penn State.

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The annual survey also looked at the toughest stadiums to play at. Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City came in third in the Big Ten behind only Penn State's Beaver Stadium and the Horseshoe at Ohio State, according to the Gazette. All in all, Hawkeye fans have plenty to be excited about heading into this season! LET'S GO HAWKS!

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Most Memorable Moments of the 2022 Iowa Football Season

Iowa finished the season 8-5, including a 21-0 shutout win over Kentucky in the Music City Bowl. The 2022 season will be remembered as one that was carried by the defense while its offense struggled mightily throughout the season.

Participants in 2023 Rise 2 Greatness Celebrity Softball Game

The game is at Veterans Memorial Stadium in Cedar Rapids on Saturday, July 29 at 7 p.m. A fireworks display follows the game. Tickets can be purchased here. All proceeds support The Jerry Ford Grow the Game Fund.

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