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Buffalo safety Micah Hyde talks to New Orleans Saints fans during their game on Nov. 12.

Iowa approaches program record for NFL Pro Bowl invitations

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Iowa has 3 Pro Bowlers this year. Is that a program record?

ANSWER: It’s close but just shy of the program high of the number of Iowa alums named to the NFL Pro Bowl in one season. This season, Washington guard Brandon Scherff, Buffalo safety Micah Hyde and Green Bay defensive tackle Mike Daniels all received Pro Bowl invitations. It’s possible another former Hawkeyes player could join the party in Orlando, Fla., later this month, after Super Bowl participants pull out of the exhibition.

It’s also likely had Baltimore Ravens guard Marshal Yanda not suffered a season-ending broken ankle in the second game, he would have earned a seventh straight Pro Bowl bid.

The program record of four Pro Bowl players was set in 1992. The Pro Bowl invitees were tight end Marv Cook (New England), tackle John Alt (Kansas City), running back Ronnie Harmon (San Diego) and New Orleans center Joel Hilgenberg.

Four other times, three Iowa players earned Pro Bowl trips. In 1961, Detroit sent defensive tackle Alex Karras and tight end Jim Gibbons; they were joined by wide receiver Jerry Reichow of the expansion Minnesota Vikings. In 1969, Minnesota safety Paul Krause, Green Bay cornerback Bob Jeter and Dallas guard John Niland all qualified.

Iowa also had three selections in both 1988 and 1989. Chicago offensive linemen Jay Hilgenberg and Mark Bortz qualified both years. New England outside linebacker Andre Tippett earned the nod in 1988, while Miami punter Reggie Roby picked up the honor in 1989.

As for program records for most Pro Bowl selections, Hall of Fame defensive backs Emlen Tunnell (1950-57, 1959) and Paul Krause (1964-65, 1969, 1971-75) lead the way with nine and eight, respectively. They both rank first and second in NFL career interceptions, with Krause picking off 81 passes and Tunnell 79.

Of those with at least four Pro Bowl nods, Jay Hilgenberg has seven (1985-1991), Yanda (2011-2016) and Niland (1968-1973) have six, Tippett has five (1984-88) while Karras (1960-62, 1965) and San Francisco safety Merton Hanks (1994-1997) each have four. Tippett also is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

There was no Pro Bowl when Iowa lineman Duke Slater competed in the NFL in the 1920s, but he was named an all-star six times.

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