Linderbaum, Hankins Earn AFCA All-America Honors

IOWA CITY, Iowa — University of Iowa junior center Tyler Linderbaum has been named first-team All-America by the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA), while senior defensive back Matt Hankins was named second-team All-America by the AFCA.

With the AFCA announcement, Linderbaum is the 12th Hawkeye to earn unanimous consensus All-America status. He was named first-team All-America by the Walter Camp Foundation, the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA), Associated Press, Sporting News, and AFCA. That list incudes QB Randy Duncan (1958), LB Larry Station (1985), QB Chuck Long (1985), TE Dallas Clark (2002), OL Robert Gallery (2003), RB Shonn Greene (2008), OL Brandon Scherff (2014), DB Desmond King (2015), DB Josh Jackson (2017), LB Josey Jewell (2017), DL Daviyon Nixon (2020), and Linderbaum.

Linderbaum is the 28th Hawkeye to earn consensus All-America status, while two of those players (OL Calvin Jones and LB Larry Station) earned the distinction in two separate seasons. Iowa football has had a consensus All-American in three straight seasons for the first time in program history.

Along with the consensus All-America status, Linderbaum received the Rimington Trophy, which is awarded to the nation’s top center. He was a finalist for the Rotary Lombardi Award and the Outland Trophy. He was named the Rimington-Pace Offensive Lineman of the Year in the Big Ten, while earning first-team All-Big Ten honors for the second straight season.

The Solon, Iowa, native (6-foot-3, 290-pounds) has started 34 consecutive games at center after starting his Hawkeye career at defensive lineman as a true freshman. Iowa has posted a 26-8 record during that span.

Hankins (6-0, 185) started 37 consecutive games in the Iowa secondary from 2018-21 before suffering a season-ending injury following the Hawkeyes’ 27-22 victory over Minnesota. The Jim Thorpe Award semifinalist has four interceptions in 2021. Hankins also earned second-team All-America honors by the Walter Camp Foundation. He was named second-team All-Big Ten by league coaches and media, and the Associated Press.

The Lewisville, Texas, native was named Big Ten Co-Defensive Player of the Week, the Rose Bowl Game Big Ten Conference Player of the Week, the Bronko Nagurski National Defensive Player of the Week, and the Thorpe Award Player of the Week following Iowa’s 23-20 win over No. 4 Penn State. Hankins had five tackles and a fourth quarter interception in Iowa’s win over Penn State. He had two interceptions in Iowa’s 27-17 win at No. 9 Iowa State.

Iowa won its final six games in 2020 and began the 2021 season with six straight wins. The Hawkeyes closed the regular season with four straight victories to earn the Big Ten’s West Division championship.

The 15th-ranked Hawkeyes will face No. 22 Kentucky in the 2022 VRBO Citrus Bowl on Jan. 1 in Orlando, Florida. Kickoff is set for 12:06 p.m. (CT) from Camping World Stadium. The game will be televised on ABC.