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Hooker, Hockenson share Hawkeye MVP honors | Hawkmania.com Iowa Hawkeyes football, basketball, wrestling and more sports

Two underclassmen who were named the best players in the Big Ten in their position groups were named Sunday as the Roy J. Carver Most Valuable Players on the 2018 Iowa football team.

Junior defensive back Amani Hooker and sophomore tight end T.J. Hockenson received that recognition Sunday when the Hawkeyes held their annual awards banquet, the first set of underclassmen to be honored since C.J. Beathard and Desmond King shared the award in 2015.

A Minneapolis native who played strong safety and outside linebacker, Hooker shared the team lead with four interceptions, broke up a team-leading seven passes, was second on the team with 59 tackles and recorded 3.5 tackles for a loss during the regular season.

Hokenson, who last week won the Mackey Award as the nation’s best tight end, led Iowa with 46 receptions covering 717 yards during the regular season. The Chariton, Iowa, native caught six touchdown passes and rushed for a seventh score.

Three seniors, defensive back Jake Gervase, defensive end Parker Hesse and offensive lineman Keegan Render, and junior quarterback Nate Stanley were named as the permanent captains for the 2018 season.

Gervase, a senior free safety from Davenport Assumption who led Iowa with 83 tackles, intercepted three passes and broke up three more passes, received several honors during the banquet.

He joined Hesse and Render in receiving the Hayden Fry Award, which is presented to team members who show exemplary leadership and dedication throughout the year.

Gervase was also among four Hawkeyes to receive the Brett Greenwood Award, joining defensive tackle Sam Brincks, receiver Nick Easley and kicker Miguel Recinos. Like the Pleasant Valley alum whose name the award carries, all four arrived at Iowa as walk-ons and developed into team leaders at their positions.

Since its inception in 2011, four former Hawkeyes who competed prior to Greenwood’s career but followed the same path from walk-on to scholarship athlete are also honored annually as Brett Greenwood Award recipients.

This year’s winners included Sam Brownlee, Andy Fenstermaker, Zach Gabelmann and Devan Moylan. Gabelmann, from Bettendorf, competed as a linebacker at Iowa from 2003-06.

Hesse received the Forest Evashevski Scholastic Achievement Award, presented to a senior with the highest scholastic record, and the Iron Hawk Award, while Recinos shared the Reggie Roby Special Teams Award with return specialists Ihmir Smith-Marsette and Kyle Groeneweg.

Senior offensive lineman Dalton Ferguson and senior defensive tackle Matt Nelson shared comeback player of the year recognition after overcoming significant injuries in their career, while linebacker Jack Hockaday, fullback Austin Kelly and defensive back Geno Stone shared the Next Man In Award.

Coaches Appreciation Award recipients included senior guard Ross Reynolds and sophomore receiver Brandon Smith on offense, Hesse, Hooker and sophomore defensive end A.J. Epenesa on defense and juniors John Milani and Amani Jones on special teams.

Team Hustle Awards were presented to Groeneweg, Hockenson and running back Toren Young on offense, Hesse, Matt Nelson, ends Anthony Nelson and Chauncey Golston on defense and junior Devonte Young on special teams.

Team Leader Awards were given to junior quarterback Ryan Schmidt and freshman fullback Monte Potteaum on offense, lineman Austin Schulte and linebacker Colton Dinsdale on defense and freshmen Terry Roberts and Mike Timm on special teams.

Iowa also honored several individuals for their support of the program.

Mary and Brian Lohse of Bondurant, Iowa, received the Player Appreciation Award for the support the Lohse Family Foundation has given the Kinnick Edge Campaign as well as the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and the Child and Adolescent Psychology programs at the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital.

Former Iowa quarterback Chuck Hartlieb was presented the Bump Elliott Appreciation Award and long-time Iowa play-by-play broadcaster Gary Dolphin received the 2018 Distinguished Service Award.

Coach Kirk Ferentz described Dolphin as “a tireless ambassador for Iowa football here in our state and across the country,’’ saying coaches selected him following the final game of the regular season because “no one bleeds black and gold more than Gary Dolphin and this is our opportunity to say thank you.’’

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