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Iowa's Josey Jewell earns award as college football's top linebacker

Chad Leistikow
Hawk Central

Iowa senior Josey Jewell's name was a somewhat controversial omission for the Butkus Award, given annually to the nation's top linebacker.

But the Jack Lambert Award noticed Jewell's play, and it is honoring the Decorah native as the top college linebacker in 2017.

Iowa senior linebacker Josey Jewell bears down on Nebraska receiver Tyjon Lindsey on Friday, Nov. 24, 2017, at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, Neb.

The Touchdown Club of Columbus announced Monday that Jewell would receive the Lambert Award (named for the former Pittsburgh Steelers great) at its annual ceremony Feb. 17. The Lambert Award has been in existence since 1991.

Clemson’s Ben Boulware won the 2016 award.

Jewell has 125 tackles this season, most in the Big Ten Conference despite missing Iowa's 17-10 loss against Northwestern with a shoulder injury. He is the program's first three-time captain and just the third Hawkeye to record 115-plus tackles in three seasons (Larry Station and Abdul Hodge are the others).

All-Big Ten teams will be announced later this week. Jewell was a Butkus finalist a year ago but relegated to second-team all-conference. This year, he wasn't among the five Butkus finalists but will likely be named first-team all-Big Ten.