Wirfs named Big Ten Offensive Lineman of the Year

Tristan Wirfs earned first-team All-Big Ten honors while taking home the Big Ten's Rimington-Pace Offensive Lineman of the Year honor.


Katie Goodale

Iowa OL Tristan Wirfs defends QB Nate Stanley during the Iowa football vs. Penn State game in Kinnick Stadium on Saturday, Oct. 12, 2019. The Nittany Lions defeated the Hawkeyes 17-12.

Pete Ruden, Pregame Editor

Along with being named a first-team All-Big Ten offensive lineman, Iowa junior Tristan Wirfs took home the title of the Big Ten’s Rimington-Pace Offensive Lineman of the Year, the conference announced Wednesday.

Wirfs, the eighth Iowa player to earn the honor, became the first Hawkeye to win the award since Brandon Scherff in 2014.

One of six semifinalists for the Outland Trophy, Wirfs started nine games at right tackle and three at left tackle when Alaric Jackson went down with an injury in Iowa’s season-opener against Miami (Ohio) on Aug. 31.

His versatility was key for an offensive line that dealt with shuffling players around for the majority of the season, especially when Jackson sat out with his injury.

Along with Wirfs’ first-team honor, Jackson earned a third-team spot from the conference’s coaches and media, while Tyler Linderbaum and Ihmir Smith-Marsette received honorable mention recognition.

Quarterback Nate Stanley, who earned Iowa’s Sportsmanship Award, was also named honorable mention by the coaches.

Wirfs, Jackson, and Linderbaum played key roles on Iowa’s offensive line that helped the Hawkeyes average four yards per carry, up from 3.95 in 2018 and 3.76 in 2017.

Smith-Marsette, who won the Big Ten’s Rodgers-Dwight Return Specialist of the Year honor in 2018, led Iowa with 676 receiving yards on 42 catches.

A multi-purpose threat, Smith-Marsette scored four receiving touchdowns, two rushing touchdowns, and a kick-return touchdown. Through three seasons, the Newark, New Jersey, native ranks 20th in career all-purpose yards with 2,631.

Stanley ranked fourth in the Big Ten with 2,738 passing yards on a completion percentage of 58.9 to go along with 14 touchdowns and seven interceptions.

He ranks second in Hawkeye history in career passing touchdowns (66) and third in passing yards (8,089).

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