Iowa football: Tristan Wirfs should be next Outland Trophy Award winner

Iowa football player Tristan Wirfs has lived up to the top-10 NFL Draft hype he began seeing prior to this season, and now he could win the Outland Trophy.

The Outland Trophy, awarded to the best lineman (offense or defense), has announced its’ six semifinalists for the 2019 season, and Iowa football player Tristan Wirfs made the cut, not that that surprises me at all.

The other five guys are listed here.

As I stated before the season began, I firmly believed the Iowa football team would be claiming its fifth Outland Trophy in program history.

With two games remaining in the regular season, I stand by that statement, and with the semifinalist announcement, we are one step closer. And on Monday, we should be even closer when the three finalists are officially announced.

So barring a complete meltdown by Wirfs this Saturday against Illinois, I fully expect to see the Iowa native and college football’s biggest freak on that list.

His play this season has been nothing short of spectacular and he is regarded as one of the top offensive linemen in this year’s NFL Draft crop alongside Georgia’s Andrew Thomas (who also made the list).

He’s not just making highlight-reel blocks, he’s doing that while playing both left and right tackle throughout the season, switching seamlessly between the two while filling in for the injured Alaric Jackson.

While doing this, he has also consistently graded out as one of the top tackles in the Big Ten and the nation according to Pro Football Focus. He’s made the Pro Football Focus Big Ten Team of the Week at least four times (and I want to say five) with two appearances on the team coming in the past two weeks against two tough Big Ten opponents in Wisconsin and Minnesota.

Personally, I think he has been the best offensive tackle in the nation, which I believe gives him the advantage over the rest of the offensive field. His biggest roadblock will be Auburn’s Derrick Brown, who has been virtually unblockable from the defensive tackle position.

Until then, we wait and see if Wirfs deservingly made the finalist list. The award winner will be announced in early December.