Iowa DB Cooper DeJean, punter Tory Taylor both named first-team Associated Press Preseason All-Americans
IOWA CITY, Iowa — University of Iowa junior defensive back Cooper DeJean and senior punter Tory Taylor have both been named to the first team Associated Press Preseason All-America team. The announcement was made Monday by The Associated Press.
DeJean (6-foot-1, 209 pounds) was a first-team All-Big Ten selection by the media and second team by the coaches in 2022 after finishing with 75 tackles, five interceptions and eight pass breakups. He set Iowa’s single season record with three pick 6’s in 2022. He also averaged a team-best 16.5 yards on 10 punt returns a year ago.
Earlier this month, DeJean was named to the 2023 Bronko Nagurski Trophy and Chuck Bednarik Award (defensive player of the year), Jim Thorpe Award (defensive back) and Paul Hornung Award (versatility) watch lists. He has been recognized as a first-team All-American by The Athletic and a second-team All-American by Athlon Sports and Phil Steele, as well as being voted to the Big Ten Conference Preseason Honors List and first-team All-Big Ten accolades by Phil Steele, Athlon and Pro Football Focus.
The Odebolt, Iowa, native was voted the 2022 Music City Bowl Most Valuable Player after notching seven tackles (six solo), including one for loss, and notching a 14-yard pick-6 against Kentucky. DeJean was named the Rose Bowl Defensive Player of the Week versus Wisconsin (Nov. 12, 2022) after totaling 10 tackles (seven solo), including one for loss, and returning an interception 32 yards for a score. He was the recipient of Iowa’s Reggie Roby Special Teams Award (overall) and Team Hustle Award (defense) last season.
Taylor (6-foot-4, 232 pounds) averaged 45.4 yards on 82 punts a season ago. He set the Iowa single season record for punting yards with 3,688 yards (80 punts, 46.1 average) in 2021 and increased that record to 3,725 yards in 2022. Taylor placed 39 and 38 punts inside the 20 in 2021 and 2022, respectively. He averaged a career-best 51.8 yards on eight punts at Purdue in 2022.
Taylor is a candidate for the 2023 Ray Guy Award, which is presented annually to the nation’s top collegiate punter. Taylor has been named a preseason first-team All-American by CBS, The Athletic, Athlon and Phil Steele. The Australia native garnered first-team All-America honors by FWAA, Phil Steele and Pro Football Focus and was a second-team selection by the Associated Press in 2022.
Iowa’s first six home games of 2023 are sold out. A limited number of tickets are available for sale at hawkeyesports.com/tickets for the home finale against Illinois on Nov. 18.
The Hawkeyes open their season on Sept. 2 against Utah State. The sold-out game is set for an 11 a.m. (CT) kickoff.