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Iowa linebacker James Morris a key player for revitalized Hawkeyes

  • 1e8409801aa55124410f6a70670057d1.jpg

    Iowa linebacker James Morris (44) celebrates after bringing down Northwestern Wildcats quarterback Kain Colter (2) during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 26, 2013, in Iowa City, Iowa. (AP Photo/Brian Ray) (The Associated Press)

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    Northwestern running back Stephen Buckley (8) is wrapped up by Iowa Hawkeyes linebacker James Morris (44) during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 26, 2013, in Iowa City, Iowa. (AP Photo/Brian Ray) (The Associated Press)

Linebacker James Morris has been a fixture on Iowa's defense since 2010, emerging as a star freshman on a team that finished well below expectations.

Morris is closing an up-and-down career with one of the better seasons in recent school history.

Morris was honored as the Big Ten's defensive player of the week for second time in 2013 on Monday. He had 2½ tackles for loss, a pair of sacks and a fumble recovery last week in a 17-10 overtime win over Northwestern.

Morris and the Hawkeyes (5-3, 2-2 Big Ten) head into Saturday's home game against No. 22 Wisconsin (5-2, 3-1) with a shot at bowl eligibility after missing out on the postseason in 2012.