Tyler Linderbaum Wins 2021 Rimington Trophy

By RossWB on December 11, 2021 at 12:23 pm
go tyler go
© Bryon Houlgrave/The Register / USA TODAY NETWORK

Often season-ending awards come as a bit of a surprise, a reward after a season that defied expectations and produced excellent results. Other times, season-ending awards are the final stage of a season-long coronation, when a player enters the season with high expectations and proceeds to live up to every one of those expectations (and perhaps exceed them). I think you know which category Tyler Linderbaum's 2021 season falls into. 

A few weeks ago, Tyler Linderbaum was named the Rimington-Pace Offensive Lineman of the Year in the Big Ten. Thursday, Linderbaum won the big Rimington Trophy, the one awarded to the best center in the entire nation. 

Though Iowa has had some very good centers over the last 20 years (including Bruce Nelson, Austin Blythe, and James Daniels), Linderbaum is the first Iowa player ever to win the Rimington Trophy. He was a finalist for the award a year ago, but lost to Alabama's Landon Dickerson. This year he was the no-brainer winner, triumphing over Boston College's Alec Lindstrom and Virginia's Olusegun Oluwatimi. 

Linderbaum earned the award for his consistently high level of play; he was a rock at the center of Iowa's offensive line all year, routinely bulldozing the defenders across from him, as you can see in the highlights above. He's also expected to be a very early selection in the 2022 NFL Draft if he opts to forgo in his senior season and enter the draft. 

FUN FACT: This win also makes Linderbaum the first player to win both the Solon Beef Days Hay Bale Toss competition and the Rimington Trophy in the same year. He even got asked about his Beef Days prowess on ESPN: 

All in all, not too bad for a kid from Solon who arrived at Iowa as a defensive tackle and leaves as perhaps the greatest center in the history of Iowa football. Congratulations, Tyler. 

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