Hockenson, Fant highlight Hawkeye presence in All-Big Ten offense

T.J. Hockenson was named the Kwalick-Clark Tight End of the Year in the Big Ten, while also being named first-team All-Big Ten by the conference media, the Big Ten announced Wednesday.

Fellow tight end Noah Fant also earned first-team honors, selected by the conference’s coaches.

The honors come one day after Iowa safety Amani Hooker was chosen as the Tatum-Woodson Big Ten Defensive Back of the Year and wide receiver Ihmir Smith-Marsette picked up Rodgers-Dwight Return Specialist of the Year honors.

“The tight end position has been a real strength for our team this year,” Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz said in a release. “To see both T.J. and Noah recognized is a credit to their performances throughout the season.

“Overall, we had a number of players gain well-deserved recognition over the past two days. To have three players named as the best at their position in a strong football conference speaks to their hard work, sacrifice, and determination.”

Hockenson, a finalist for the John Mackey Award given to the nation’s top tight end, led the Hawkeyes this season with 46 receptions and 717 yards. He also hauled in 6 touchdowns through the air and scored once on the ground.

Fant, who was a semifinalist for the Mackey Award with Hockenson, finished first on the team with 7 touchdown catches. He also racked up 519 receiving yards on 39 receptions.

In addition to the honors Hockenson and Fant received, Smith-Marsette and four members of the Hawkeye offensive line.

Along with earning Rodgers-Dwight Return Specialist of the Year, Smith-Marsette was named honorable mention All-Big Ten after catching 19 passes for 332 yards and 2 scores.

In the trenches, Alaric Jackson earned second-team All-Big Ten honors from league coaches and media, while Ross Reynolds was named second-team by coaches and third-team by the media.

Keegan Render added third-team honors from the conference media and honorable mention from the coaches, and Tristan Wirfs finished with honorable mentions from the coaches and media.

“It’s rewarding to see seniors such as Keegan and Ross recognized for their play,” Ferentz said in a release. “For Alaric and Tristan, the recognition can hopefully signal continued improvement and growth.”

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