Iowa Defensive Lineman Makes Hawkeye History
Daviyon Nixon's story is like so many others in the Iowa Hawkeyes football program over the years. He left his home state of Wisconsin to start his college career at a junior college (Iowa Western Community College in Council Bluffs) before transferring to Iowa in 2018. In 2019, he played in every game for the Hawkeyes but started just once. This year, he became a defensive force that's been named both the Big Ten Nagurski-Woodson Defensive Player of the Year and the Big Ten Smith-Brown Defensive Lineman of the Year. Daviyon Nixon (#54) is the first Hawkeye ever to win both awards in the same season.
Daviyon is the first Hawkeye to win both those big defensive awards during the same season, but he isn't the first Iowa player to win them. Most recently, Josey Jewell was the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year in 2017 and Mitch King was the Big Ten Defensive Lineman of the Year in 2008.
Daviyon was a big disruptor for the Iowa defense this season. A defense that's tied for seventh-toughest to score against in the nation, giving up just 16 points-per-game. He leads the Hawkeyes in sacks with 5.5 and Tackles for Loss with 13. He forced a fumble. Oh, and he had a pick-six. This is my favorite video of the interception and return.
Both Nixon and his defensive line counterpart, senior Chauncey Golston, have been named first-team All-Big Ten by both the media and coaches. Senior defensive lineman Zach VanValkenburg and junior defensive back Jack Koerner were second-team selections. Senior linebacker Nick Niemann was named to the third team while Dane Belton (sophomore defensive back), Riley Moss (junior defensive back), Seth Benson (sophomore linebacker), and Matt Hankins (senior defensive back) all received honorable mention.
Daviyon, you'd look awfully good leading that defense again next year. How 'bout one more year in the black and gold...