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Iowa tight end T.J. Hockenson's 10-yard catch on fourth-and-8 proved to be the key play in a 31-28 win against Nebraska. Chad Leistikow, Hawk Central

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IOWA CITY, Ia. — It's awards season, and the 8-4 Iowa football team continues to roll up the accolades.

Sophomore tight end T.J. Hockenson and junior safety Amani Hooker were named to the Associated Press all-Big Ten Conference first teams on Wednesday.

Both players also were named second-team all-Americans by The Athletic. Hockenson, who leads Iowa with 46 catches and 717 receiving yards, later on Wednesday won the John Mackey Award, presented to the nation's top tight end.

Hooker, who transitioned to outside linebacker for the final eight weeks of the season, racked up four interceptions for the Hawkeyes and ranks second on the team with 59 tackles. 

Five other Hawkeyes were selected to the AP's second team by a panel of 27 media members who cover the conference, including four players on offense: left tackle Alaric Jackson, left guard Ross Reynolds, tight end Noah Fant and all-purpose player Ihmir Smith-Marsette.

Sophomore defensive end A.J. Epenesa was also named to the league's second team after tying with junior Anthony Nelson for a team-high 9½ sacks.

Hockenson has said he would play in the Hawkeyes' Jan. 1 Outback Bowl matchup against Mississippi State (8-4). Fant is the only Hawkeye planning to skip the game to prepare for the NFL Draft.

The Bulldogs, meanwhile, have two projected first-round NFL Draft picks in defensive tackle Jeffrey Simmons and defensive end Montez Sweat. Coach Joe Moorhead said this week he anticipated all of his players would participate in the Outback Bowl.

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