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The Iowa football program is known for their offensive line play and while the line struggled to create holes for the running games at time this year, they are returning three starters and should be significantly improved come next season.
- Alaric Jackson – There is no question that Jackson, a two-year starter, will be manning Nate Stanley’s blind side again this upcoming year. In fact, he is one of the guys we consider one of the stronger candidates on the Hawks to become an All-American next season.
- Ezra Miller – This guy couldn’t be more excited to be a Hawk. Rumor has it that he set the record for the number of visits to the campus. He also happens to be really good. He is a 6’6” 304-pound tackle from rural Iowa who also happens to be a four-star recruit. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him get a few snaps each game to gain experience before potentially stepping into a starting role the following season if Jackson or Wirfs depart early.
- Landan Paulsen – This could honestly be either Landan or Levi but Landan spent the entire year as the back up to now-departed Ross Reynolds.
- Ezra Miller/Tyler Endres – Both of these guys are four-star recruits who look to be the tackles of the future when Jackson and Wirfs ultimately depart, but there’s not really a starting spot for either of them yet. The Iowa football team, however, loves to get guys like this playing time early so they will be invaluable as super-subs across the offensive line just as James Daniels was his freshman season in Iowa City.
- Tyler Linderbaum – With how little depth the Iowa football team has on the defensive line, you don’t make this move unless you think this kid could start right away, and word on the street is Linderbaum could be the opening day starter for the Hawks in 2019. While undersized on the defensive line, Linderbaum fits the mold of a Hawkeye center. At 6’2” and 270 pounds with a wrestling background, he has the potential be a three-year starter for the Hawks manning the center position.
- Levi Paulsen – This position is probably the most up-for-grab depth spot on the line, but the loser of the Left Guard battle will likely be playing a super-sub role as well. What some don’t realize is that moving from left to right and back is not as easy in real life as it is in a video game. I think Levi’s twin brother Landan wins that job and Levi ultimately becomes the back up for all three interior spots.
- Cole Banwart – There’s a chance he moves further inside, but for now, I see him sticking it out at right guard where he was the full-time starter for the Iowa football team last year.
- Levi Paulsen – See above!
- Tristan Wirfs – Just like Jackson, Wirfs is a two-year starter and possibly has even more NFL potential than his counterpart on the left side. He will be the day one starter.
- Mark Kallenberger – Kallenberger is a former three-star recruit from Bettendorf who will be entering his redshirt sophomore season this year. Last year he was the second-string right tackle, and while he will likely be penciled in again in this role, he does have some competition from class of 2019 four-star recruit Tyler Endres.