All good Iowa teams are built on both sides of the line. That will be no different in the class of 2020. The Hawkeyes put a lot of time and energy into finding fits at both offensive and defensive line. That includes Mason Richman, a lineman from Kansas who could fit on either side of the line.
Richman, from Stilwell, Kansas just south of Kansas City, committed to Iowa as a junior after being primarily recruited as a defensive lineman. Iowa, however, recruited him as an offensive tackle, as did Kansas and Kansas State.
He’s listed at 6’5” and currently 260 pounds. That’s up 40 pounds from his wrestling weight of 220 and he may be closer to 6’6” than 6’5”. That frame is paired with a lot of athleticism for an offensive lineman as Richman boasts a 31” vertical and a 10’2” broad jump.
What mightve been most impressive though was during the Broad Jump portion when he popped off a 16-inch improvement over his baseline mark, his 112-inch jump today would’ve only been 1” behind Texas A&M TE Jace Sternberger’s & 2” better than Bama’s Irv Smith’s NFL Combine mark pic.twitter.com/qK1Nj6H13u— Joseph Potts, CSCS, RSCC (@TopSpeedLLC) May 31, 2019
Those attributes had the Iowa coaches fighting over who would get him. Kelvin Bell and the defensive line ultimately lost out to Tim Polasek and the OL. Given how freshman Tyler Linderbaum worked out transitioning from defensive tackle to center this year, that seems like a positive for this team.
Now, Richman is officially a Hawkeye looking to make that transition.
Not only is Richman officially a Hawkeye, he’s set to be an early enrollee coming to Iowa City next month. That can only be seen as a positive for a guy looking to switch positions.
As a senior, Richman continued to make noise on the defensive side of the ball. He finished with 45 tackles, 12 TFL, 3 sacks, 2 forced fumbles and 5 blocked kicks (!!) this season. His highlights point out who he is before most plays, but that’s totally unnecessary as he jumps off the film. He’s the guy blowing up a blocker and destroying the person with the ball.
We saw how that translates to an offensive lineman this year with Tyler Linderbaum obliterating would-be tacklers on the regular. Richman will also need to hone the art of pass blocking, but he has all the physical tools. He’s got great length and plus athleticism. He obviously has the mean streak. The question now will be how long it takes Doyle to get him to playing weight so he can make an impact.
Richman ultimately chose the Hawkeyes over offers from 11 other programs, including Les Miles and Kansas, Northern Illinois, Air Force, Princeton, Dartmouth and a number of MAC and FCS schools as well as several others showing interest this summer.
Welcome aboard, officially, Mason Richman!