Sports

Hawkeyes Stanley and Epenesa Named to Preseason Watch Lists

Iowa City Iowa — University of Iowa senior quarterback Nate Stanley has been named to the 2019 Davey O’Brien Award Watch List, a group that includes 30 of the nation’s top quarterbacks. Stanley is one of three Big Ten quarterbacks on the list. A.J. Epenesa has been named to the 2019 Bednarik Award Watch List.

The Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award is the oldest and most prestigious national quarterback award and is presented annually to the nation’s best collegiate quarterback by the Davey O’Brien Foundation.

Stanley (6-foot-4, 243-pounds) passed for 2,852 yards and 26 touchdowns — the second-most in the Big Ten and 22nd-most in the country — last season. Stanley’s 52 career touchdowns rank fourth in program history and are the most by a Hawkeye over a two-year span. The Menomonie, Wisconsin, native also ranks ninth in career passing yards (5,351) and total offense (5,240).

As Iowa’s offensive team captain, Stanley set an Iowa bowl record for longest pass and longest touchdown pass with a 75-yard touchdown in Iowa’s 2019 Outback Bowl win over No. 18 Mississippi State.

The award was established in 1977 and named after TCU quarterback Davey O’Brien, who led the Horned Frogs to an undefeated season in 1938 en route to their second National Championship. He became the first ever player to win the Heisman Trophy, Maxwell Award and Walter Camp Award in the same year. Oklahoma’s Kyler Murray won last year’s award.

Former Hawkeye greats, Chuck Long in 1985 and Brad Banks in 2002, have won the award, while Ricky Stanzi was a two-time semifinalist in 2009 and 2010.

University of Iowa defensive end A.J. Epenesa has been named to the 2019 Bednarik Award Watch List.
The Bednarik Award is presented annually to the nation’s top collegiate defensive player. Iowa has had four semifinalists for the award since 2005 with former defensive back Desmond King being the most recent in 2016.

A first-team All-Big Ten selection last season, Epenesa (6-foor-6, 280-pounds) led the Big Ten and ranked 12th nationally in sacks (10.5), ranked second in the Big Ten and 16th nationally in forced fumbles (4), and ranked fourth in the conference in tackles for loss (16.5). The Glen Carbon, Illinois, native also recorded 37 tackles, four pass break-ups, eight pressures, and a blocked punt.

Epenesa was one of five finalists for the 2018 Polynesian Player of the Year award and a two-time Co-Big Ten Defensive Player of Week for his play in wins against Illinois and Iowa State. Earlier this summer, he garnered preseason first-team All-America recognition by Athlon Sports.

The Bednarik Award was established in 1995 and is named after Chuck Bednarik, a member of the College Football and NFL Hall of Fame.

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