Welcome to the official countdown to kickoff! Each day through September 4th we’re highlighting a member of the Iowa football team whose number corresponds with the number of days remaining until football returns to Kinnick Stadium. You can find each of the previous players highlighted in the Countdown to Kickoff stream here. You can also find the full Iowa roster here.
Up next is #76, offensive lineman Tyler Elsbury!
Tyler Elsbury – RS Freshman
Byron, IL (Byron)
6’5”, 302 lbs
2021 Projection: Backup Left Guard
The Iowa Hawkeyes have a mixed bag in terms of returning production along the offensive line this year. All-world center Tyler Linderbaum is back and looking to win the Rimington whiled and is joined by fellow starter Kyler Schott as returners from a a very good line in 2020. But Iowa did lose both starting tackles and the other starting guard from a season ago.
Despite the turnover, Iowa is not inexperienced. Projected starters Jack Plumb, Cody Ince and Justin Britt all have starts under their belts. So where does a guy like redshirt freshman Tyler Elsbury fit in this season?
Coming out of spring practice, Elsbury is listed as the second string left tackle on the official depth chart. That’s a bit of a change from where we expected him to end up when he first committed to the Hawkeyes.
The 6’5”, 300+ pounder has the size to play outside, where he spent much of his time as a prep. At Byron High School in Illinois, the former 4-star prospect and first team all-state selection was dominant in both the run game and the last game. Here’s what we had to say of his prep film back when he signed in the class of 2020:
He has tremendous feet for his size and is excellent in space. Playing primarily left tackle, his Byron team used him effectively on sweeps and pulls to track down oftentimes multiple defenders on the same play. At the point of contact, Elsbury is a mauler who feasts on pancakes.
The big man saw action in a pair of games during the 2020 season (against Michigan State and at Minnesota) as a true freshman, but preserved his redshirt. He now has four more years to make an impact for the Hawkeyes.
Cracking the two-deeps in his second year on campus is a major step in that direction. Starter Kyler Schott missed time a season ago so it’s not a stretch to envision Elsbury getting work in this fall. Further, his positional flexibility as a former left tackle is exactly the type of thing the Iowa staff loves. Ferentz has long tried to get the five best guys into the lineup.
Elsbury heads into fall camp just on the outside looking in at that group of five, but he’s not far behind. If called upon, he has the pedigree to step up to the challenge. At the very least, he’s one of the top candidates to slide into a starting role next season when senior Kyler Schott moves on.