Iowa’s Campbell wins Butkus Award

Jack Campbell

IOWA CITY — University of Iowa senior linebacker Jack Campbell has been named the recipient of the 2022 Butkus Award as the nation’s top linebacker. The announced was made Thursday by the Butkus Foundation. 

On Tuesday, Campbell was presented the William V. Campbell Trophy by the National Football Foundation. He was previously named the Nagurski-Wooden Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year and the Butkus-Fitzgerald Big Ten Linebacker of the Year and he earned first-team All-Big Ten honors for the second consecutive season. He was named a semifinalist for the Bednarik and Rotary Lombardi awards. 

Campbell (6-foot-5, 246 pounds) has led Iowa’s defense all season. He has totaled 118 tackles, which are second in the Big Ten and tied for 13th nationally. The Cedar Falls native also recorded two interceptions, one recovered fumble and one forced fumble, along with 3.5 tackles for loss. He has 295 career tackles to rank 19th in program history. 

Campbell was also the Butkus Award national Player of the Month in November as the Hawkeyes posted a 3-1 record with wins at Purdue and Minnesota and a home victory over Wisconsin. In the four games, Campbell totaled 36 tackles, including 20 solo tackles and 16 assists. He had a forced fumble and pass interception in the final five minutes of the win at Minnesota, which led to Iowa’s game-winning field goal with 28 seconds remaining. 

Campbell is the first Hawkeye to earn the Butkus Award. Former Hawkeye linebacker Josey Jewell was a semifinalist for the award in both 2016 and 2017, while Chad Greenway was a semifinalist in 2005. Larry Station placed second in the Butkus Award balloting in 1985. 

Iowa (7-5) will face Kentucky (7-5) in the TransPerfect Music City Bowl on Saturday, Dec. 31, in Nashville. The Hawkeyes earned their 20th bowl invite over the past 24 seasons under Ferentz.

Music City Bowl

LEXINGTON, Ky. — Kentucky running back Chris Rodriguez Jr. says on social media that he will skip the Music City Bowl to prepare for the NFL draft.

The senior’s announcement on his Instagram account comes a day after Wildcats quarterback Will Levis announced he would miss the Dec. 31 contest against Iowa to get ready for next spring’s draft.

Rodriguez leaves as Kentucky’s No. 3 career rusher with 3,644 yards and 32 touchdowns, including 904 with six scores this fall despite missing the first four games of the season. He pleaded guilty in July to driving under the influence. He ranked sixth in SEC rushing this fall.

Rodriguez thanked Kentucky fans in the post and said while he won’t play in the game, ìI’ll be in the Music City to support my brothers and hope to see you there.î

The native of McDonough, Georgia, was an Associated Press All-SEC first team selection as a junior after erupting for 1,379 yards rushing to help Kentucky win 10 games for the second time in four years. He surpassed 100 yards rushing five times this fall and broke Benny Snell Jr.’s school record with 20.


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