Jon Heacock is a Broyles Award nominee

AMES, Iowa – Iowa State defensive coordinator Jon Heacock is a nominee for the 2022 Broyles Award.

Heacock, who is in his seventh season with the Cyclones, has built the Cyclone defense into one of the best in the nation year in and year out.

The Cyclone defensive unit leads the Big 12 and ranks among the nation’s top 12 in rushing defense (12th, 105.2), passing defense (12th, 175.2), total defense (10th, 280.4) and scoring defense (9th, 16.7). Only two teams in Big 12 history (TCU, 2017; Texas, 2001) have led the league in all four categories.

ISU is allowing opponents to convert on third down just 28.5 percent of the time, which ranks seventh nationally.

Iowa State is allowing just 16.7 points per game, which is the lowest average allowed by the program since 1978. The Cyclones have given up 30 or more points just once this season, one of seven Power 5 schools nationally to do that.

Iowa State has held each opponent below its season average in all other games by an average of 17.1 points.

Under Heacock, the defense seemingly gets better as the game goes on. This season, ISU is allowing just 6.5 points and 108.6 yards in the second half of games.

The defense is highlighted by Will McDonald IV, who is the NCAA Active leader in career sacks (33.0) and sits just one shy of tying the Big 12 career record. Anthony Johnson Jr., who has started 53 games in his career and this season moved from cornerback to safety, has two interceptions this season and joins transfer linebacker Colby Reeder with a pair of interceptions.

As a team, ISU has forced 14 turnovers (seven interceptions, seven fumble recoveries), which is tied for fourth in the Big 12 Conference.

Heacock is one of 51 nominees in this year’s class that were selected from approximately 1,500 assistant coaches representing 131 FBS programs across the country. The Broyles Award selection process included the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA), broadcasters, a college football hall-of-fame selection committee and current college head coaches.