Iowa’s 2020 season came to screeching halt on Sunday as we learned the Music City Bowl matchup with Missouri had been cancelled. After making it through the regular season without a single game impacted by COVID-19, Iowa’s season came to an unexpected end with its final two games, a Championship Weekend matchup with Michigan and the bowl matchup with Missouri, both cancelled due to outbreaks on the opposing teams.
But, despite the disappointing, early end to the 2020 season, Iowa did get some good news on Monday morning. Much of the success during the 6-game winning streak the Hawkeyes closed out the season with can be attributed to a strong running game led by a dominant center in the middle and a suffocating defense led by one of the most electric defensive tackles we’ve seen in some time manning the middle of the defensive line.
Daviyon Nixon and Tyler Linderbaum have been racking up awards all season like. They’ve been named finalists for the Outland and Rimington Trophies respectively after each was named 1st Team All-Big Ten. Nixon was also named the Big Ten’s Defensive Player of the Year.
Now, Linderbaum and Nixon can add AP-All American to their long lists of accolades.
Nixon was named a 1st team selection while Linderbaum has been named to the 2nd team.
Linderbaum has been a stalwart in the middle of Iowa’s offensive line for the last two season after moving over from the defensive side of the ball. He’s started every game during those two seasons and has proven himself one of the nation’s best in both the passing game and as a road grader in the run game.
Nixon, on the other hand, has really emerged during this season. After starting just one game in 2019, Nixon exploded onto the scene in 2020 with 5 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.
This marks the fourth consecutive season the Hawkeyes have had multiple AP All-American selections. In 2017, linebacker Josey Jewell and corner Josh Jackson made the cut. In 2018, it was tight ends Noah Fant and T.J. Hockenson as well as safety Amani Hooker. A season ago, tackle Tristan Wirfs, defensive end A.J. Epenesa and kicker Kieth Duncan made the list.
Iowa has had at least one AP All-American in every season since 2013 with the exception of 2016. Guard Brandon Scherff held the honors in 2014. In 2015, the Hawkeyes again had a pair earn the honors with center Austin Blythe being named to the 3rd team and corner Desmond King. King was named to multiple All-America teams in 2016, but was not named an AP All-American.
Congratulations to both Daviyon Nixon and Tyler Linderbaum on yet another incredible accomplishment. There are surely more to come.