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Athlon Names 4 Iowa Players To Preseason All-American Teams

Iowa football's offensive line.

EVANSTON, IL - OCTOBER 21: Alaric Jackson #77, Keegan Render #69, James Daniels #78 and Sean Welsh #79 of the Iowa Hawkeyes at the line of scrimmage during a game against the Northwestern Wildcats at Ryan Field on October 21, 2017 in Evanston, Illinois. The Wildcats defeated the Hawkeyes 17-10. (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)

Athlon Sports put out its 2019 preseason All-American teams today. A number of Iowa Hawkeyes made the cut entering the year.

Athlon goes four deep in its teams. The Hawkeyes land a pair of first-teamers, a second-team player, and one fourth-team player.

With those numbers, Iowa is tied for fourth for most players included. Only Alabama (nine), Clemson (eight), and Georgia (five) are ahead, with Ohio State, Oklahoma, Texas, and Utah tied with fourth.

It is strong company for the Hawkeyes.

A.J. Epenesa and Ihmir Smith-Marsette headline the group, as members of the first team.

Epenesa is paired with Auburn's Derrick Brown, Michigan State's Kenny Willekes, and Ohio State's Chase Young on the first-team defensive line.

The Hawkeye star led the Big Ten in sacks at 10.5 without starting last season. He could have an incredibly prolific 2019 season, and is a projected top five pick.

Smith-Marsette is listed as the first team kick returner. He averaged 29.5 yards per kick return last season, good for second in the nation in 2018.

They were joined by a pair of Hawkeye offensive linemen on the lower teams. Alaric Jackson cracked the second team, while Tristaf Wirfs was named to the fourth team. The two have combined for 32 starts, and both made All-Big Ten squads after the 2018 season.

[Athlon Sports]