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49 (?) Days Until Hawkeye Football: Nick Niemann

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Nick Niemann is poised for success in his senior season

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: DEC 27 Holiday Bowl - USC v Iowa Photo by John Cordes/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Nick Niemann - RS Senior
Sycamore, IL (Sycamore)
6’4”, 235 lbs
2020 Projection: Starting linebacker

Nick Niemann has been a playmaker in all of his previous three seasons wearing the black and gold. His senior season is poised to be his best yet.

A year removed from eight starts and seeing action in all of Iowa’s 13 games, Niemann is ready — and has earned — his spot as the leader of the 2020 Hawkeyes’ linebacker crew.

His statistics, and also just general intuition, have improved drastically over his three seasons. The numbers don’t show it all — Niemann went from totaling 43 total tackles in 2018 to only 32 in 2019, but his continued impact on the defense speaks for itself without numbers.

Nowhere was this more evident than the last time we saw Niemann on the field: in the Holiday Bowl against USC, where he logged two tackles, a sack, and a game-sealing pick six. Let’s watch the tape, shall we?

That’s a man on a mission, there. And more opportunities to make plays like that will turn those quarterback pressures into sacks. Like his brother Ben before him, Niemann has proved himself to be a reliable asset for the Hawkeye defense. Put into a starting role for all of Iowa’s...who knows what number of games will certainly see Niemann’s numbers go up as well.

It’s sad to think that this will be Niemann’s last year in an Iowa uniform. But I think, given his size, athleticism and clear playmaking ability, If Niemann has another strong season, he might be playing against his brother on Sundays in the NFL in the future...whenever that might actually be.