Next up on our countdown to the start of the Hawkeye football season is a talented young offensive lineman with a bright future in the program, but who may have to wait at least a year for his chance to shine.
Mark Kallenberger- RS Sophomore
6’5”, 288 lbs
2019 Projection: Second string offensive tackle
Kallenberger chose the Hawkeyes over a number of Iowa’s closest rivals, including Iowa State, Nebraska, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. He was a ranked as a three-star recruit coming out of high school but was widely regarded as one of the top prospects in Iowa having been named to the All-State team during both his junior and senior years. Mark’s commitment to the Hawkeyes ended up being something of a family affair, as he was joined by his older brother Jack who also arrived in Iowa City in the fall of 2017 after spending two years at Iowa Central.
Kallenberger redshirted in 2017 but saw action almost immediately at the start of 2018. The suspensions of both of Iowa’s starting tackles pressed Kallenberger into service in Iowa’s opener against Northern Illinois, where he saw significant time in a reserve role. While most offensive linemen are ill-equipped to play meaningful minutes as a freshman, Kallenberger’s assignment was far more difficult than most, as he was tasked with containing the Huskies’ All-American defensive end Sutton Smith. Kallenberger mostly succeeded in this task, though he did give up a strip-sack during the second quarter of the game after Smith managed to beat him around the outside.
Kallenberger played sparingly once starters Alaric Jackson and Tristan Wirfs returned to the lineup against Iowa State, but still managed to see action in four games over the course of the season. Coaches and teammates praised Kallenberger’s maturity and poise for his contributions to Iowa’s victory over Northern Illinois, and he seems very much in line to slide in as the top backup to both of Iowa’s starters in 2019. While Iowa’s most recent recruiting class did bring in two highly touted young tackles in Tyler Endres and Ezra Miller, Kallenberger’s experience should give him an advantage in securing one of the starting tackle positions once Jackson and Wirfs eventually depart for the NFL. Should either starter be forced to miss time in 2019, Kallenberger projects as a solid backup who is capable of successfully filling their role.