DeJean Named Bednarik Award Candidate

University of Iowa junior defensive back Cooper DeJean has been named a candidate for the 2023 Chuck Bednarik Award, which is presented to the most outstanding defensive player in college football by the Maxwell Football Club.

The Hawkeyes have had eight semifinalists for the award since 2005. They include Jack Campbell (2022), Daviyon Nixon (2020), Josh Jackson (2017), Josey Jewell (2017), Desmond King (2016), Adrian Clayborn (2010), Pat Angerer (2009), and Chad Greenway (2005).

DeJean (6-foot-1, 209 pounds) was a first-team All-Big Ten selection by the media and second team by the coaches in 2022 after finishing with 75 tackles, five interceptions and eight pass breakups. He set Iowa’s single season record with three pick 6’s in 2022. He also averaged a team-best 16.5 yards on 10 punt returns a year ago.

Earlier this month, DeJean was named to the 2023 Bronko Nagurski Trophy (defensive player of the year), Jim Thorpe Award (defensive back), and Paul Hornung Award (versatility) watch lists. He is recognized on the Athlon Sports and Phil Steele 2023 preseason All-America second teams, as well as being voted to the Big Ten Conference Preseason Honors List and first-team All-Big Ten accolades by Phil Steele, Athlon Sports and Pro Football Focus.