The Iowa Hawkeyes have officially paused all team activities due to positive tests for COVID-19 within the program. But while the team is on pause, there is no stopping Daviyon Nixon and his growing national recognition.
A little less than two weeks ago, Nixon was named a finalist for the Nagurski Trophy, which recognizes college football’s top defensive player, as well as a semifinalist for the Bednarik Award (for the same thing, but from a different group) and a semifinalist for the Outland Trophy, which recognizes the nation’s top interior lineman on either side of the ball. He was the only semifinalist for the latter on the defensive side.
On Tuesday, Nixon became the only finalist for the award to play defense.
.@DaviyonNixon is 1️⃣ of 3️⃣ finalists for the 2020 @outlandtrophy .— Hawkeye Football (@HawkeyeFootball) December 22, 2020
: https://t.co/bGzf49YIA9 | #Hawkeyes pic.twitter.com/W0qdmVQyGr
Nixon, who finished the regular season with 45 total tackles, 13.5 TFL, 5.5 sacks, a forced fumble and an interception returned for a touchdown in a 41-21 win over Penn State, is joined as a finalist for the prestigious Outland Trophy by Alabama offensive tackle Alex Leatherwood and Notre Dame offensive tackle Liam Eichenberg.
The award, which is voted on by the Football Writers Association of America, will be handed out as a part of The Home Depot College Football Awards show presented by ESPN on January 7th, 2021.
The Hawkeyes have had four prior winners of the Outland. All have come from the offensive side of the ball. The most recent winner was Brandon Scherff in 2014, but prior winners include Robert Gallery (2003), Alex Karras (1957) and Cal Jones (1955). That is incredible company to keep. It’s worth noting that Tristan Wirfs was a semifinalist for the award a season ago.
But Nixon was not alone in the accolades. Teammate Tyler Linderbaum was named one of three finalists for the Rimington Trophy, which recognizes the nation’s best center.
And then there were three. @TLinderbaum Named @rimingtontrophy Finalist.— Hawkeye Football (@HawkeyeFootball) December 22, 2020
https://t.co/pMFc8k6Fo7 | #Hawkeyes pic.twitter.com/2QZWUwR3uS
As with Nixon, Linderbaum is joined on the list by an Alabama Crimson Tide player. Bama center Landon Dickerson makes the cut, as did Ohio State center Josh Myers.
The Rimington, like the Outland, is voted on by the FWAA and will be presented during The Home Depot College Football Awards show presented by ESPN on January 7th, 2021.
The Hawkeyes have never had a winner of the Rimington Trophy. Iowa has had just two finalists in program history. Bruce Nelson made the cut in 2002 while Austin Blythe was the most recent finalist in 2015.
Congratulations to both Tyler Linderbaum and Daviyon Nixon. Both are incredibly deserving of all their accolades and have helped fuel the impressive finish to Iowa’s regular season.