Former Iowa punter Jason Baker named honorary captain for Northwestern

By Hawkeyesports.com

IOWA CITY, Iowa - - Former University of Iowa punter Jason Baker will serve as honorary captain as Iowa hosts Northwestern at Kinnick Stadium (2:42 p.m., FOX) Saturday afternoon as part of Family Weekend.

Baker is a native of Ft. Wayne, Indiana, where he attended Wayne High School.  He completed his Hawkeye career with 272 punts for 11,304 yards and a career average of 41.6 yards. He is Iowa’s career leader in punts and punting yards, ranking fourth all-time in the Big Ten in both categories.

Baker earned honorable mention All-Big Ten honors as a senior and was Iowa’s special teams permanent captain and Specialist of the Year. He participated in the Blue-Gray Game following his Iowa career. He averaged 42.3 yards per punt as a junior and 42.5 yards as a senior. Over 23 percent of his career punts were inside the opponent 20 yard line.

Baker holds three of the longest 10 punts in school history, with his career best of 79 yards at Illinois in 1998 ranking third all-time. He set a Sun Bowl record with a 76-yard punt against Arizona State in 1997. Baker also handled kickoff duties during his career.

Baker enjoyed a lengthy NFL career, punting for a number of teams between 2001-11. He spent the majority of his professional career with the Carolina Panthers, where he holds franchise records for punts (570), punting yards (25,064), and punts in a playoff game (seven). He also punted for Philadelphia, San Francisco, Indianapolis, and Kansas City.

Baker’s career totals in the NFL include 794 punts for 33,914 yards, an average of 42.7 yards per punt. He was a Pro Bowl alternate on more than one occasion and twice led the NFL in total punts.

Baker will accompany the Iowa captains to midfield for Saturday’s pregame coin toss.  He will also be with the Hawkeyes in the locker room before and after the game.