As Jack Campbell gears up for his final game at Kinnick Stadium versus Nebraska, he’s earned another accolade before the game boots off.
The 6-foot-5, 246 pound linebacker has been named one of the five finalists for the Butkus Award. Of course, the Butkus is presented annually to the nation’s top linebacker.
Campbell joins Arkansas‘ Drew Sanders, Cincinnati’s Ivan Pace Jr., Georgia‘s Jamon Dumas-Johnson and Washington State’s Daiyan Henley. The Cedar Falls, Iowa, native is also a finalist for the William V. Campbell Trophy and a semifinalist for the Bednarik Award and Rotary Lombardi Award.
Campbell joins legendary Hawkeye Larry Station as Iowa players that have been finalists for the Butkus Award. Station finished second in the balloting in 1985.
Both Chad Greenway (2005) and Josey Jewell (2016, 2017) have also been Butkus Award semifinalists.
— Hawkeye Football (@HawkeyeFootball) November 22, 2022
After finishing with a nation-leading 143 tackles a season ago, Campbell has had another monster season. He currently possesses a Big Ten-leading 110 total tackles. Campbell has also registered 3.5 tackles for loss, a pair of interceptions, one recovered fumble and one forced fumble in 2022.
Campbell was the hero last week, too. On two of Minnesota’s final three possessions, Campbell was involved in big turnovers. First, he forced a fumble that defensive lineman Deontae Craig recovered. Then, he picked off Minnesota quarterback Athan Kaliakmanis, setting up Iowa’s eventual game-winning Drew Stevens field goal.
“Just trying to be an extra hat on the ball, hopefully try to get that ball out. It popped up. I just took advantage of my opportunity. I feel like I didn’t step out of bounds, but, you know what, they can say what they want to say. I washed it, tried to focus back in and finish the game out strong.
“It was a total team effort. All of those plays, you never know when that play’s going to happen, but it’s always a teammate that creates that opportunity for you and you’ve just got to go take advantage of it. I feel like that’s kind of where my mindset was on that play,” Campbell said following his big plays and the win over Minnesota last week.
Campbell was selected as the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week for his efforts. His performances never cease to amaze his teammates.
“Oh, incredible. First-team All-American. I don’t even know what the linebacker award is, but he deserves that,” Iowa safety Kaevon Merriweather said of Campbell.
Well, Kaevon, it’s the Butkus, and your teammate is officially a finalist for it.
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