IOWA CITY, Ia. – Iowa football coach Kirk Ferentz projected Desmond King as a safety, not a cornerback.
“Shows what I know,” Ferentz said.
King, Iowa’s starting right cornerback, was named Big Ten freshman of the week Monday after making 12 tackles, including 10 solo stops, in a 34-24 loss at Ohio State.
“It’s been a good story, and not one that we necessarily saw coming,” Ferentz said.
King is the second-leading tackler in the Big Ten among freshmen. He’s also Iowa’s third-leading tackler with 27 stops, 19 of them unassisted.
King, from East English Village Prep in Detroit, Mich., wasn’t on Iowa’s two-deep heading into the season opener against Northern Illinois. But after Jordan Lomax, the starter, suffered a leg injury, King was put into the game. The true freshman has been there ever since, starting the last six games.
“Desmond was the next man in,” Ferentz said. “He did a good job from the day he walked in and we got started in August. He hasn’t played perfect. Nobody does. But he’s not seemingly being overwhelmed by everything.”
Ferentz compares King to Antwan Allen, a redshirt freshman thrown into the mix in 2003.
“(Allen) did a nice job of handling it,” Ferentz said. “It’s a tough position to play, especially for a young player. Desmond has really responded well and we’re very proud of him and glad he’s on our team.”