Iowa Football: Three Hawkeyes Make Athlon Big Ten All-Freshman Team

BY Fansided and Jeremy Karll/FanSided via Dear Old Gold • December 26, 2016

Athlon Sports released their All-Freshman teams

Earlier this week, Athlon Sports announced their national All-Freshman Team, as well as one for each conference. Iowa football had three players make the Big Ten All-Freshman Team and one make the national All-Freshman team.

Defensive lineman Anthony Nelson made the Big Ten First Team, as well as the national third team. He recorded 32 tackles, seven tackles for loss and tied with Matt Nelson for second on the team with five sacks.

Manny Rugamba and Keith Duncan both joined him on the Big Ten team.

Duncan, who made 38-of-39 extra points and 8-of-9 field goals, also made the Big Ten All-Freshman First Team. Kirk Ferentz used him for shorter kicks and Miguel Recinos, who finished the season 1-of-3 on field goals, for longer kicks.

Duncan’s biggest moment of the season was when he nailed a 33-yard field goal as time expired to upset the Michigan Wolverines. It was Duncan’s second longest kick of the year — longest was a 41-yard field goal against Wisconsin a couple of weeks earlier.

Rugamba jumped onto the scene when Iowa ruled Greg Mabin out for the season with a fractured leg. His availability in the Outback Bowl is in question after he suffered a shoulder injury in Iowa’s final regular season game against Nebraska.

Rugamba intercepted his first pass against Minnesota, however he became an integral part to Iowa’s secondary against Michigan and Illinois. He recorded four tackles and three pass deflections, as well as a huge interception late in the fourth quarter against Michigan to keep Iowa in the game.

Only three Big Ten players made the Athlon national All-Freshman First Team. Four made the second team and five, including Nelson, made the third team.

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