Tyler Linderbaum joined the Iowa football program as a defensive tackle.
Now, he may be the Hawkeyes' center of the future.
During preparation for Iowa's Outback Bowl game against Mississippi State, Linderbaum made the move over to the other side of the line.
By all accounts, it has taken quite well.
The freshman was a three-star member of the Hawkeyes' 2018 recruiting class, coming out of Solon High School in Iowa.
247Sports' composite rankings had him at No. 409 overall in the class. He was ranked as the No. 28 defensive tackle in the country, and No. 2 recruit in Iowa.
Tyler Linderbaum's redshirt is intact, which means he could be a four-year starter at center for Iowa football.
Offensive coordinator Brian Ferentz is pretty giddy about the results thus far, after some of the team's bowl practices. From The Gazette:
“I kind of felt like Jimmy Johnson on that,” Iowa offensive coordinator Brian Ferentz said Thursday. “I don’t know what they got back, but we got Linderbaum and that was pretty good.”
That’s a reference to the trade former Dallas Cowboys coach Jimmy Johnson engineered with the Minnesota Vikings. The Vikings got running back Herschel Walker. The Cowboys got the building blocks to 1990s-era dominance.
“I feel like he’s got some of the intangibles and on top some of the physical attributes that guys that have played well for us in the past at that position have had and he’s picked it up pretty quickly,” Ferentz said. “That’s a good start and we’re pretty excited about that.”
Bowl games themselves are nice, especially those with large payouts. They're also great experiences for players after a long season.
Some coaches may argue that the 15 extra practices they give a team are the biggest benefit, though. Iowa is definitely making the most of its 15 practices this year.