IOWA CITY, Iowa — University of Iowa senior defensive lineman Zach VanValkenburg has been named the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week, following Iowa’s 35-7 win at Minnesota, as the Hawkeyes retained Floyd of Rosedale for a school-record sixth straight year. The announcement was made Monday by the Big Ten Conference office.
VanValkenburg (6-foot-4, 270-pounds), is a Zeeland, Michigan, native, and earns his first career weekly honor. It is the second straight week a Hawkeye has earned their first career weekly award by the Big Ten (Charlie Jones vs. Northwestern).
VanValkenburg posted five total tackles (four solo), including a career-high three sacks for a loss of 15 yards. His three sacks are the most by a Hawkeye since A.J. Epenesa registered 4.5 sacks against Nebraska in 2019. VanValkenburg was a key cog in the Iowa defense that nearly posted a shutout against a Minnesota offense that entered the contest averaging 36.3 points per game.
VanValkenburg is second in the Big Ten in sacks per game (0.88) and seventh in the conference in tackles for loss per game (1.3).
Iowa (2-2, 2-2) will play at Penn State (0-4, 0-4) Saturday at 2:30 p.m. (CT). The game will be televised on Big Ten Network.