Iowa football taps Jack Campbell, Sam LaPorta & Kaevon Merriweather for Big Ten media days

Next week, all 14 Big Ten schools will migrate to Indianapolis, Indiana for Big Ten football media days. On Monday, Iowa announced which three players will represent them. Coach Kirk Ferentz selected a trio of seniors: linebacker Jack Campbell, tight end Sam LaPorta and defensive back Kaevon Merriweather. 

Big Ten media days will take place from July 26-27 with Iowa addressing the media on the first day. They're joined by Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, and Northwestern. Day two will feature Illinois, Michigan State, Ohio State, Penn State, Purdue, Rutgers, and Wisconsin.

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Campbell highlights the defensive selections as Iowa's 2021 team captain and leading tackler. Last season, he recorded 140 tackles while adding 3.5 sacks and two interceptions. He forewent this year's NFL Draft to return to Iowa and will lead a linebacker unit that's expected to be one of the best in the country. Pro Football Focus listed Campbell as the No. 3 rated linebacker entering this season. 

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Iowa tight end Sam LaPorta will represent Iowa at Big Ten media days alongside linebacker Jack Campbell and defensive back Kaevon Merriweather.

LaPorta, the only offensive selection, has been one of the most consistent forces on Iowa's offense over the last few seasons. His 53 catches last season was the fourth most ever by an Iowa tight end in one year. He is only 23 more catches from claiming the No. 1 spot in career catches by a tight end, ahead of program legends such as Dallas Clark, Noah Fans, T.J. Hockenson and George Kittle. 

LaPorta is a first team Preseason All-Big Ten selection and is the No. 5 rated tight end nationally entering this season according to Pro Football Focus. 

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Merriweather has been a consistent contributor/starter over the last few seasons but will take a full-time starting role this fall at safety following the departures of Dane Belton and Jack Koerner. The Belleville, Michigan native is regarded as one of the biggest leaders in Iowa's program. He was selected to the 2021 Player Council and has served as spokesperson for black players in the aftermath of the racial disparity allegations made in 2020. 

Last season he was the inaugural recipient of the Duke Slater Golden Gavel Award. Voted on by Iowa media members, it's presented to "the Iowa football player who not only is most cooperative with local media, but exhibits themself with professional integrity in all interactions."

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Kennington Lloyd Smith III covers Iowa Hawkeyes football and men's basketball for the Des Moines Register. You can connect with Kennington on Twitter @SkinnyKenny_ or email him at