Football is back and the Iowa Hawkeyes are looking to yet again turn in another top season under head coach Kirk Ferentz. While it ended in disappointment, last year was still a massive success for the Hawkeyes, finishing No. 23 in the final USA TODAY Sports AFCA Coaches Poll rankings with a 10-4 record.
A lion's share of that success can be attributed to Phil Parker's defense. They were among the nation's elite in nearly every metric, leading the country in interceptions with 25. The unit returns a ton of talented players and is eager to turn in an even better performance in 2022.
Two Iowa Hawkeyes defenders were featured on Wednesday as ESPN unveiled its list of the top 100 college football players entering 2022. According to ESPN, cornerback Riley Moss enters the season as the nation's No. 52 player, while linebacker Jack Campbell is rated as the country's No. 71 player.
Here's what ESPN's staff wrote about Moss' placement at No. 52.
Riley Moss was one of the most impactful cornerbacks not only in the Big Ten last year, but in the entire NCAA. He took home the Tatum-Woodson Defensive Back of the Year as the top defensive back in the Big Ten Conference, and he was also an Associated Press third-team All-American.
Naturally, Moss received first-team All-Big Ten recognition at cornerback as well. Despite the Senior Bowl and NFL calling this past offseason, Moss decided to return to Iowa for one more season to lead a fantastic Hawkeyes unit. Like Campbell, you'll find Moss' name on a litany of award watch lists as he tries to put together a final definitive statement season as a Hawkeye.
Meanwhile, ESPN had the following to say about Campbell checking in at No. 71 nationally.
For Campbell, this is his first appearance in the ESPN 100. He is the sixth ranked linebacker, but is the highest ranked from the Big Ten conference. Campbell was a First Team All-Big Ten linebacker in 2021, as was voted a Second Team All-American by the Football Writers Association of America. The Iowa linebacker enters the season on a multitude of award watchlists, his draft stock already starting to rise.
Moss and Campbell will be back on the field Sept. 3 looking to create some magic in 2022 for the season and home opener against the No. 2 ranked team in the FCS ranks in opponent South Dakota State.
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Story originally appeared on Hawkeyes Wire