Iowa LB Josey Jewell an all-time great … but a Mount Rushmore great?
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Is it enough to put him in the University of Iowa Mount Rushmore?
— Dylan (@DthruF) December 13, 2017
ANSWER: Iowa senior Josey Jewell now is the second-most decorated linebacker in school history. Jewell was a unanimous first-team All-American, earned the Lott Trophy as the nation’s best defender, won Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year honors and was a four-time academic All-Big Ten, among other honors. The only linebacker in that category historically is Larry Station, who is Iowa’s only two-time consensus All-American, doing it back in 1984-85.
Does these awards put Jewell on Iowa’s Mount Rushmore? Let’s keep it to football and that always starts with Nile Kinnick, the 1939 Heisman Trophy winner. The stadium bears his name and his jersey number is retired. It would take a thousand football seasons for Kinnick to slip off Iowa’s Mount Rushmore.
Next is Chuck Long, the consensus All-American quarterback in 1985, the Heisman Trophy runner-up and the former NCAA record-holder for most career passing yards. Kinnick and Long are virtually undisputed but the discussion gets interesting afterward.
Does Iowa’s Mount Rushmore include Station or Jewell? What about two-time consensus All-American offensive lineman Cal Jones, who is the only other player to have his jersey retired? What about Outland Trophy winners Alex Karras, Robert Gallery or Brandon Scherff? What about other Heisman runners-up Randy Duncan and Brad Banks? Tight end Dallas Clark, cornerback Desmond King, kicker Nate Kaeding and running back Shonn Greene all won national awards as the best at their positions. Punter Reggie Roby and kick returner Tim Dwight could claim the same without the hardware. Defensive tackle Jared DeVries still holds the Big Ten record for most tackles for loss. Perhaps no player on the field had a greater impact for those around him than safety Bob Sanders.
Really, after Kinnick and Long, all of the players are interchangeable. That includes Jones and King or Scherff and Karras. If somebody wanted to include Jewell on their Iowa football Mount Rushmore, he wouldn’t look out of place. In fact, he’d fit right in.
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