Kirksey and Morris Named to CFPA Watch List

BY JACOB SHEYKO | JUNE 18, 2013 5:00 AM

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Iowa senior linebackers James Morris and Christian Kirksey were recently named to the 2013 College Football Performance Awards Defensive Watch List.

Both Hawkeyes were named to the Linebacker List. Iowa is one of only four schools to have multiple players selected to the Linebacker List — Michigan State, Alabama, and Stanford are the other three.

Morris finished the 2012 season with 113 total tackles, good for second on the team and third in the Big Ten. The native of Solon was also named to the 2013 Lott Impact Trophy Watch List earlier this year.

Kirksey finished his junior season third on the team with 95 tackles and 4 forced fumbles, tied for first in the Big Ten and second in the nation. The native of St. Louis was one of eight players in the nation with 2 interception returns for touchdowns in 2012.

The two Iowa linebackers join teammates C.J. Fiedorowicz and Mark Weisman as Hawkeyes that were named to CFPA Watch Lists. Fiedorowicz was named to the Tight End List and Weisman was named to the Running Back List.

Earlier in the month, Kirksey and Morris were among the six seniors named to the Iowa Football Leadership Group by fellow players and coaches. There were 15 players named to the group. Morris and Kirksey were also named as permanent team captains in 2012.

“Congratulations to Christian Kirksey and James Morris on earning spots on the 2013 Defensive Awards Watch List,” group Executive Director Brad Smith said in a release. “Kirksey and Morris are highly productive linebackers who will likely pose both tactical and physical challenges to Big Ten opponents in 2013.”

The recipients are selected based upon an objective scientific ranking that determines how much an individual player affects the performance of their team. Former Hawkeye and current Tampa Bay Buccaneer Adrian Clayborn was named the 2009 National Defensive Performer of the Year by the group.

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