Monday, May 16, 2022

Iowa Football: Tyler Linderbaum named recipient of Iowa's Big Ten Medal of Honor



May 14, 11:14 AM

It has been quite the year and career for Iowa center Tyler Linderbaum. On Friday, he added another huge accolade to his long list of achievements when he was named Iowa's male recipient of the Big Ten Medal of Honor.

The Big Ten Medal of Honor is the conference’s most exclusive award, and the first of its kind in intercollegiate athletics to recognize academic and athletic excellence. The Big Ten Medal of Honor was first awarded in 1915 to one male and one female student-athlete from the graduating class of each university who had “attained the greatest proficiency in athletics and scholastic work.”

Linderbaum is an enterprise leadership major from Solon, Iowa. He earned unanimous consensus All-America honors at center for the Hawkeyes in 2022, becoming the 12th Hawkeye to earn that distinction. Linderbaum became Iowa’s first recipient of the Rimington Trophy. He was also named the Rimington-Pace Big Ten Conference Offensive Lineman of the Year while earning first-team All-Big Ten honors for the second straight season.


Linderbaum started 35 consecutive games at center for the Hawkeyes after playing as a defensive lineman as a true freshman. He was one of four finalists for the Rotary Lombardi Award, one of three finalists for the Outland Trophy, and a two-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree. Linderbaum was selected by the Baltimore Ravens in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft – 25th pick overall – last month.


"It's funny, every draft is different. Every team is different in how they do it. But Tyler is kind of unusual," Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz said. "I told the guys at pro day, there's really not a lot to tell you because everything he is, it's on film. I guess his arms weren't quite as long as somebody wants. We have a lot of guys like that, too. Had a bunch of them. (Brandon) Scherff just signed a pretty good contract. I'd rather have a guy that has his arms half an inch short that can actually block guys trying to block them.


"Everything he does, his résumé is on film. You meet the guy, had a couple teams comment on what their interview was like. One guy said he could probably coach our offensive line. It was that detailed, that thorough."

Linderbaum will go down as one of Iowa's best offensive linemen in the Ferentz era. Now, he begins the challenge of emerging as one of the NFL's best centers, which some believe can happen after his rookie season. 

"You're talking about one of the best technicians – strong, physical, tough, quick-footed," Ravens general manager Eric DeCosta said last week. "Somebody said it on TV, I think; if he was an inch taller and his arms were a half-inch longer, he would've been a Top 5 pick, and I believe that. He's probably one of the better centers we've seen come out in a long time."

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