IOWA CITY, Iowa — University of Iowa senior DT Jaleel Johnson, along with freshmen Keith Duncan (PK) and Manny Rugamba (DB) have been recognized as Big Ten Conference Players of the Week for their performances in Iowa’s 14-13 win over second-ranked Michigan.
Johnson earned the honor for his play on defense, Duncan was named Special Teams Player of the Week, and Rugamba shared the honor as Freshman of the Week. All three Hawkeyes are being recognized by the conference for the first time in their careers.
Johnson (6-foot-4, 310-pounds) led Iowa’s defense as the Hawkeyes held the Wolverines to 13 points and 201 yards total offense. Michigan entered the game averaging 48 points and 497.4 yards total offense while winning its first nine games of the season.
Johnson, a native of Lombard, Illinois, recorded a career-best nine tackles, including six solo tackles and three assists. His totals included two tackles for loss and a sack. Johnson recorded Iowa’s first points of the game, collecting a safety when he dropped Michigan’s De’Veon Smith in the end zone for a safety to cut Iowa’s deficit to 10-2 in the second quarter.
Johnson, who has started 24 straight games over the past three seasons, ranks sixth on the team with 47 tackles. He leads Iowa with 8.5 tackles for loss and 6.5 sacks, tying for fourth in the Big Ten in sacks.
Rugamba (5-11, 185), is a true freshman from Naperville, Illinois, who started for the first time in place of senior Greg Mabin, who missed the game due to injury. Rugamba recorded two solo stops and two assists against the Wolverines.
Rugamba also had his second interception of the season in the fourth quarter, and had three pass break-ups as Michigan gained just 103 passing yards. Along with the Big Ten recognition, he was named the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week by College Sports Madness.
Duncan (5-11, 165), is a walk-on from Weddington, North Carolina, and also a true freshman. He provided the winning margin against Michigan with a 33-yard field goal as time expired. Duncan had given the Hawkeyes an 11-10 advantage with a 25-yard field goal in the third period.
Duncan earned the kicking job during the preseason and has been nearly perfect. He has made all 30 of his PAT attempts and 8-of-9 field goals.
Earlier this season, punter Ron Coluzzi was named Big Ten special teams Player of the Week for his play in Iowa’s win at Rutgers, while redshirt freshman Anthony Nelson was named Freshman of the Week for his efforts in the opening win over Miami, Ohio.
With the win over Michigan, Iowa (6-4, 4-3) is bowl eligible for the 15th time in the last 16 seasons. The Hawkeyes travel to Illinois Saturday (11 a.m., BTN), before closing the season against Nebraska in Kinnick Stadium on Friday, Nov. 25 (time TBA).