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61 Days Until Hawkeye Football: Cole Banwart

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Can the junior offensive lineman hold on to a starting spot after Tyler Linderbaum’s inclusion?

NCAA Football: Maryland at Iowa Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

The next player in the countdown to kickoff is Iowa’s junior who is currently without a home as a result of Tyler Linderbaum’s ascension.

Cole Banwart - Junior
Ottosen, IA (Algona)
6’4”, 300 lbs
2019 Projection: Starting Guard?

It’s probably unfair to attach a question mark to Banwart after he started seven games at right guard last year ahead of senior twins, Levi and Landon Paulsen. With Linderbaum quickly taking hold of Banwart’s spring role at center, though, his place along the line is in some doubt.

Scott Dochterman wrote in his recent “State of the Program” for Iowa ($) the guard spots won’t be decided until well into fall camp. In addition to the Paulsens, he identified sophomore Mark Kallenberger as another body in the fray for a guard spot. If nothing else, it’ll be Banwart as the go-to backup lineman should any interior lineman go down with an injury.

As a redshirt freshman in 2017, Banwart played in two games for the Hawkeyes - North Texas and Illinois. He started Iowa’s first two games at right guard last year before an injury kept him out against Northern Iowa. He rotated through the following five games before retaking over the starting spot for the remainder of the year. Given the track record from last year, it figures he’ll probably have pole position going into fall camp for right guard against the three above.

Though Iowa struggled running the ball last year, Banwart’s participation along the line formed a formidable group of pass protectors. If he and the rest of The Iowa line are able to put it together in the run game, it could be a special year for the Hawkeyes’ offense and the team at large.