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Iowa safety Bob Sanders set a tone with his physical play that cannot be replicated.

Iowa’s top defensive back under Kirk Ferentz: Bob Sanders, Desmond King or Josh Jackson

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ANSWER: In a spirited debate among fans, Iowa safety Bob Sanders was voted as the best defensive back in the Kirk Ferentz era according to our Twitter poll. Sanders was a game-changing strong safety from 2000-03 and his play was defined by his ferocious hits and tenacious play.

Three times Sanders was named first-team All-Big Ten and he was a second-team All-American as a senior. Sanders finished his career with 348 tackles, the most by an Iowa defensive back. In his final game at Kinnick Stadium, Sanders registered 16 tackles and forced 3 fumbles against Minnesota. While Sanders doesn’t have a painting hung in the All-America room at the Iowa football complex, he’s perhaps the ultimate fan favorite of the Ferentz era.

While fans didn’t choose Desmond King, his resume was the most impressive of any defensive back in the Ferentz era. King won the Thorpe Award as the nation’s top defensive back in 2015 and was a unanimous first-team All-American. As a senior, he was named either a first- or second-team All-American by every primary outlet. King started a school-record 51 games and played in two others. He intercepted 14 passes to tie for fourth in program history. King tied a school record with 8 interceptions in 2015 and also tied the Iowa mark by returning 3 interceptions for touchdowns in his career.

Like King, Josh Jackson was a unanimous first-team All-American following the 2017 season. Jackson joined King, Lou King and Nile Kinnick for the school’s single-season interception record with 8, which led the nation. Jackson also defended 26 passes, which was the second-highest total nationally since 2008. Jackson intercepted 3 passes against Ohio State and followed up with a pair of pick-6s against Wisconsin the next week.

Choosing among these three players is like picking your favorite dessert. Was it your grandmother’s chocolate chip cookies when you were a child? Was it your favorite type of pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving? Was it the incredible slice of cake you had on vacation? It’s all relative. Such is the same with this vote.

Here are some of your opinions:

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