After several preseason accolades and an outstanding 2021 season, Iowa center Tyler Linderbaum wins the Rimington Trophy. The award is presented annually to the nation’s most outstanding center. Linderbaum is the first Hawkeye to win the award in its 22-year history. Pro Football Focus lists the center as the top blocking lineman in the country. He has an astounding 95.2 overall rating, and a 96.5 run-blocking rating.
Tyler Linderbaum Wins Rimington Trophy
The Iowa offensive line was young and allowed an uncharacteristic 18 sacks and 117 pressures. However, Linderbaum allowed just one sack and four quarterback hurries on the year. His presence in the middle of the offensive front was one of the best the Hawkeyes have had in the Kirk Ferentz tenure. Despite the young line, Linderbaum’s leadership played a significant role in Iowa’s run to the Big Ten Championship game. The nation’s top center was not flagged for a single penalty all season. He finished the year with a 99% pass-blocking efficiency.
After stepping onto campus in Iowa City as a defensive lineman, Linderbaum was converted to the offensive side of the ball shortly after arrival. His ability to seamlessly switch positions was impressive. Linderbaum was a finalist for the Rimington Trophy in 2020. However, Landon Dickerson of the national champion Alabama Crimson Tide took home the award. This season, he finished in first ahead of Alec Lindstrom of Boston College, and Olusegun Oluwatimi of Virginia. Linderbaum was also a finalist for the Outland Trophy this season. The trophy goes to the nation’s outstanding interior lineman. Defensive lineman Jordan Davis out of Georgia finished ahead of him. Winning one of the prestigious linemen awards puts Linderbaum among the greatest Hawkeye linemen of all time.
The center is projected as a first-round draft pick on several boards for the 2022 NFL draft. With the completion of the 2021 regular season, the question still remains as to whether or not he will return for his senior year. When asked about his status for the upcoming Citrus Bowl, he had a great response. Hawk Central’s Chad Leistikow asked if he would opt-out for the game. Linderbaum laughed and said, “dumb question, Chad.” His response makes it clear that the Rimington Trophy winner will suit up against the Kentucky Wildcats on January 1st.