Alex Karras unveiled as Big Ten Icon 33

Big Ten Icons, a program on the Big Ten Network, is counting down the top 50 student-athletes in conference history based solely on their collegiate careers. The network unveiled Big Ten Icon 43 as Iowa’s Alex Karras, the legendary football player.

Karras, a two-time All-American defensive tackle at Iowa from 1955-57, was the anchor of a Hawkeye defense that shut out its final two opponents to earn the school’s first-ever trip to the Rose Bowl. As a senior, Karras won the Outland Trophy as the best interior lineman in college football. He also finished second in Heisman Trophy balloting in 1957. Karras would eventually become known as a Renaissance man, becoming an actor, writer, broadcaster and film producer later in life. In an essay for , McGrath writes, “He liked to say that football was only a small part of his life, which may have been true. But he was awfully good at it.” To read the entire essay and watch a video feature on Karras, visit his Big Ten Icons locker at

Icons 50 through 21 are being unveiled through September 16 at The website also features essays, video, and other key facts about each student-athletes’ career. Viewers can also participate in the “Talk of the Locker Room” contest.

The television show, hosted by legendary college sports broadcaster Keith Jackson, debuts September 18 on the Big Ten Network.

Karissa Wikert
Assistant Director of Marketing

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