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  Iowa returns second-team All-Big Ten senior defensive lineman Zach VanValkenburg on the edge. VanValkenburg tied for first nationally with four fumble recoveries last season and tallied 30 tackles, including 14 solo, 8.5 for loss and 3.5 sacks. During the spring, Iowa defensive line coach Kelvin Bell said the older guys up front, including VanValkenburg and juniors Noah Shannon and John Waggoner are the current leaders of the group. Junior Joe Evans, a former walk-on, was also put on scholarship in 2020 for his performance. Having spring football back was something noted as an advantage going into this season as opposed to last. It took Iowa a few games to build consistency on the line last year.

"By the time you start in fall camp, it had been a whole year since we played and we were rusty," VanValkenburg said following the final spring practice on May 1. "No matter how many drills you do on your own, nothing can simulate full contact like football. You get a lot better cohesion when you're able to practice together." This offseason, VanValkenburg said he's been working on better flipping his hips to the outside in his blocking to garner more power and control in fending off blockers on the edge. He hopes he can become more consistent on either side. - The Gazette

(DS#33 DE) rSr/2022 DE Zach VanValkenburgIowa
News Source: The Gazette



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