The talk and the hype seems to be coming to culmination one final time before the 2022 college football season kicks off. That hype is the linebacker group that the Iowa Hawkeyes will be trotting out on defense this coming Saturday in their home opener as they look to stonewall the South Dakota State Jackrabbits’ offense.
Pro Football Focus has named the trio of Jack Campbell, Seth Benson, and Jestin Jacobs as the top linebacker group in the nation entering the season. Not only that, the three of them are all in PFF’s top 25 five linebacker list which gives Iowa bragging rights as the only school in the country to have all of their starting linebackers recognized.
Not one, not two, but three Iowa linebackers made PFF’s top 25 list, the only school in the country to accomplish such a feat. Leading the Hawkeyes is Jack Campbell, whose 85.7 coverage grade since 2020 is the highest among returning Power Five linebackers.
Jestin Jacobs got off to a hot start last year with an 82.4 overall grade through Week 4, third among Power Five linebackers.
Finally, Seth Benson looked strong in coverage last year with a 79.3 grade that ranked 11th in the Power Five. – Chadwick, PFF
This comes on the heels of the Hawkeyes being a top 10 ranked team in terms of NFL talent. The trio of Hawkeyes manning the middle of the defense is a large reason why.
Jack Campbell is entering 2022 as the Preseason Big Ten player of the year. Jestin Jacobs has been labeled on of the top players with breakout potential to climb draft boards next spring. Seth Benson is entering the season looking to be the sturdy rock and, while less often discussed, just as important puzzle piece in the Hawkeyes’ defense.
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