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Thursday, May 03, 2012

Ex-Hawkeye linebacker Nielsen earns academic nod



MAY 3, 2012

By Seth Roberts

Former Iowa linebacker Tyler Nielsen has been named a member of the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame's 2012 Hampshire Honor Society, according to a release.

Eligible players must have been a starter or played a significant role in their final year of eligibility, and they must have achieved a cumulative 3.2 GPA over the course of their undergraduate careers, the release said. The list of 721 players features 232 schools and athletes from all levels of college football, from the Football Bowl Subdivision to the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics.

The National Football Foundation will select the top 16 individuals from that pool of 721 to receive an $18,000 postgraduate scholarship; the best of the 16 gets an additional $7,000 for his scholarship and a trophy.

Nielsen finished his senior season with 73 tackles — including 4 for a loss and a sack — to go along with a forced fumble and two recoveries. He started all 13 games Iowa played, splitting time between the outside and middle linebacker spots.

The Humboldt native struggled with injuries over the course of his Hawkeye career, although he played through them in 2011. He reportedly didn't struggle at all in the classroom, though; he was named to four-consecutive academic All-Big Ten teams.

Nielsen signed with the Minnesota Vikings as an undrafted free agent over the weekend.

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