CHICAGO — Iowa defensive end A.J. Epenesa was one of 10 Big Ten football players named this morning to the conference's preseason honors list.
The junior is the seventh Hawkeye in the last six seasons to be named to the list of the Big Ten's top preseason prospects, following the selection of tight end Noah Fant a year ago.
Epenesa led the Big Ten in 12.5 sacks a year ago, was second in the league with four forced fumbles and was fourth in the Big Ten with 16.5 tackles for a loss.
He finished with 37 tackles for the season and broke up four passes while earning all-Big Ten recognition in a reserve role.
Epenesa is one of five players from the West Division named to the team, joining Nebraska quarterback Adrian Martinez, Northwestern linebacker Paddy Fisher, Purdue wide receiver Rondale Moore and Wisconsin running back Jonathan Taylor.
From the East, Michigan State linebacker Joe Bachie, Michigan State defensive end Kenny Willekes, Ohio State running back J.K. Dobbins, Ohio State defensive end Chase Young and Penn State defensive end Yetu Gross-Matos were honored.
The announcement was made at the Big Ten's annual kickoff event. Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz and the Hawkeyes' three player representatives, Michael Ojemudia, Nate Stanley and Toren Young, are scheduled to appear Friday.