After stellar performances over the 2020 season, the Iowa Hawkeyes have two players on the AP All-American teams.
Defensive tackle Daviyon Nixon was named a first-team All-American on defense, while center Tyler Linderbaum was named to the second-team on offense.
Both players were unquestionably the best players on their respective side of the ball for the Hawkeyes this season. Each was named first-team All-Big Ten by coaches.
Nixon, a junior, was given the Big Ten’s Defensive Player of the Year award two weeks ago. He finished the season with a whopping 13.5 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks. Nixon was an impact player in every game this season, helping the Hawkeyes defense allow under 13 points per game.
Linderbaum, a sophomore, started in every game and was the anchor of Iowa’s offensive line. He’s the highest-graded center in the FBS by Pro Football Focus with a grade of 91.5. As a run blocker, Linderbaum was a road grader. In pass protection, he stone walled rushers all season, giving up zero sacks.
Both Linderbaum and Nixon will have big decisions to make regarding their future with Iowa football. With the way each performed this season, it may be wise for both to cash in now on the opportunity to play in the NFL.
Nixon was recently ranked inside ESPN analyst Mel Kiper’s top 10 NFL prospects, regardless of position. He could be in the discussion as a first-round draft pick.
Meanwhile, Linderbaum is considered one of the best interior offensive linemen among all draft-eligible prospects. He could easily go in the second-round if he declares.
Head coach Kirk Ferentz indicated on Sunday that he has held pre-draft conversations with Nixon, but not with Linderbaum.