The Iowa Hawkeyes and defense go together like cinnamon rolls and chili.

In Iowa terms, that is a match made in heaven.

The defense has been heavenly lately in Iowa City, as the Hawkeyes have boasted one of the top units in the country over the past few seasons.

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Many individuals on the defense have made it to the next level to realize their pro football dreams, and many are sure to do so in due time.

Jay Higgins is one of those players.

On Tuesday, Phil Steele, who authors one of the must-have College Football preview magazines each year tabbed Higgins as his preseason Defensive Player of the Year:

Higgins anchors the Hawkeye defense and finished last season with 171 total tackles, 2 sacks, 2 fumble recoveries, and an interception. The Hawkeye defense a season ago finished in the top 5 nationally in both points and yards allowed per game.

Higgins and the Hawkeyes open the season on August 31st when they play host to Illinois State in Iowa City.

Sources: Eliot Clough on TwitterDes Moines Register and Sports Reference (Stats)

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What do each of these stellar athletes have in common? They all hail from the Hawkeye State.

Gallery Credit: Johnny Marks

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