Iowa football: Defensive tackle Noah Shannon announces return for sixth season

Chad Leistikow
Des Moines Register
Noah Shannon brings back a tenacious toughness on Iowa's defensive line in 2023 as a sixth-year senior.

Iowa's defensive line has had some moving parts this week. On Tuesday, Lukas Van Ness declared his intent to enter the NFL Draft. On Wednesday, Joe Evans announced his return for a sixth year. And on Friday, the 2023 Hawkeyes got great news with the announcement that Noah Shannon will return for his sixth-year senior season.

Shannon and Evans have eligibility available due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which didn't count their 2020 seasons against them. Shannon was an undersized warrior as a defensive tackle this past season, often disrupting plays even if he didn't make them. Tackle is often an unheralded position for the salty Iowa defense, which ranked No. 2 nationally in 2022. And Shannon plays a key part in that lunch-pail mentality.

More:Iowa football pass rusher Lukas Van Ness declares for NFL Draft

In his statement on social media, Shannon indicated some unfinished business as part of the reason for his return. Iowa fell short of winning the Big Ten West Division with a regular-season ending 24-17 loss to Nebraska, but won its bowl game 21-0 against Kentucky to finish 8-5.

More:Defensive end Joe Evans will return to Iowa football team for another season

“I am coming back to represent the black and gold one more year,” Shannon wrote, “and help lead our team back to Indy (for the Big Ten title game).”

Shannon (6 feet, 289 pounds) made 44 tackles, with 8½ for losses this season for the Hawkeyes while starting every game. He has made 27 consecutive starts for the Hawkeyes alongside Logan Lee, who also is expected to return as a fifth-year senior. Shannon, Lee, Yahya Black and incoming junior-college transfer Anterior Thompson should make for a fine defensive-line rotation in 2023 while allowing high-motor, high-strength defensive lineman Aaron Graves the option to move outside.

If Graves (6-foot-4, 271 pounds) is able to make that move seamlessly as a true sophomore, he would join a defensive-end rotation that returns regulars Evans, Deontae Craig and Ethan Hurkett.

In other words, the Hawkeyes should be deep and talented once again on their defensive line next fall.

Also Friday, the Hawkeyes picked up a preferred walk-on commitment from defensive end Jackson Filer, who was the National Junior College Athletic Association Defensive Player of the Year after posting 28 tackles for loss, including 15½ sacks, for national champion Iowa Western. Filer (6-3, 230) is the son of former Hawkeye fullback Rodney Filer. He also had an opportunity at Coastal Carolina. He will be enrolled at Iowa and in the program by mid-January.