Iowa center Tyler Linderbaum bringing consistency to Hawkeye football

The junior center is the veteran of the Hawkeye offense with 22 consecutive starts dating back to 2019.


Shivansh Ahuja

Iowa center Tyler Linderbaum throws a block during a football game between Iowa and Nebraska at Kinnick Stadium on Friday, Nov. 27, 2020. The Hawkeyes defeated the Cornhuskers, 26-20. (Shivansh Ahuja/The Daily Iowan)

Chloe Peterson, Assistant Sports Editor

If head coach Kirk Ferentz knows one thing about Hawkeye junior center Tyler Linderbaum, it’s his consistency.

Linderbaum is a consistent person. A consistent blocker. A consistent threat on the field.

“Consistency is one of the first things you think about,” Ferentz said. “Not only as a player, but just as a person. He is the same guy every day. At least he presents himself that way. And whether you see him in the building here or out on the field, there’s just a real consistency about him. And he certainly carries that over to the way he practices.”

In Iowa’s season-opening 34-6 win over Indiana in Week 1, Linderbaum’s consistency was briefly threatened in the second quarter on a nine-yard touchdown run from quarterback Spencer Petras.

After Petras scored on the designed draw play, Linderbaum stayed down in the end zone, clutching his leg as athletic trainers made their way to the field.

But the injury proved to be a brief one, as Linderbaum walked off the field unassisted and reentered the game on the Hawkeyes’ next offensive drive after spending time on an exercise bike on the sideline.

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Linderbaum said postgame that a helmet hit him in the leg, and his minor injury should not become an issue.

“I was a little nervous for Lindy at first, but there’s no tougher guy in college football than Tyler Linderbaum,” Petras said postgame. “I knew as soon as I saw him walking that he’d be alright.”

Linderbaum is entering his third year as the Hawkeyes’ starting center. The preseason first-team All-American has started 22 consecutive games for Iowa, dating back to 2019 with former Hawkeye quarterback Nate Stanley under center.

With the rest of the offensive line rotating around him, Linderbaum is the anchor of the Hawkeyes’ offense.

“From a football standpoint, I would say he’s probably the most experienced guy on the field at this point for us offensively, really smart, really talented,” Petras said. “He knows things he can do with our offensive line, the direction he gives them whether that’s his call or his leadership. That’s a huge asset.”

And Linderbaum is a calming force for Petras — on and off the field.

“You know, him being in front of me as one of my best friends, that’s just kind of a safety blanket for my emotions,” Petras said.

As roommates for multiple years, the duo’s off-field friendship helped build chemistry even before Petras took over as the team’s starting quarterback in 2020.

“You know, we have a pretty tight relationship, just being roommates with each other for so long,” Linderbaum said. “Anything he has, he can come to me, anything I have I can go to him. So it’s kind of unique that someone from California, and I’m from Iowa, that we can build that connection with each other. That’s just what’s great and special about football, just the relationships that you build with your teammates.”

The Hawkeyes will take on Iowa State this weekend in Ames for the annual Cy-Hawk football matchup. The game will air nationally on ABC at 3:30 p.m. ESPN’s College GameDay will host the pregame show, beginning at 8 a.m.