Iowa's Daviyon Nixon, Tyler Linderbaum named finalists for top football awards

Chad Leistikow
Hawk Central

Iowa’s two most dominant players in its 2020 season have received well-earned recognition.

Junior defensive tackle Daviyon Nixon was named one of three finalists for the prestigious Outland Trophy, given to the nation’s best interior lineman.

Nixon was the Big Ten Conference’s defensive player of the year after logging 13½ tackles for loss, a huge figure for a defensive tackle, in just eight games.

The other two Outland finalists are in the College Football Playoff — Alabama offensive tackle Alex Leatherwood and Notre Dame offensive tackle Liam Eichenberg.

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Daviyon Nixon's 71-yard interception return for a touchdown against Penn State was an impressive feat for a 305-pound defensive lineman.

Also Tuesday, Iowa sophomore center Tyler Linderbaum was named a Rimington Trophy finalist. The other finalists to be named the nation’s top center are Alabama’s Landon Dickerson and Ohio State’s Josh Myers, both playoff-bound. Linderbaum made the media’s all-Big Ten first team, while Myers made the coaches’ first team.

Nixon is looking to become the fifth Outland winner from Iowa. The others: Brandon Scherff (2014), Robert Gallery (2003), Alex Karras (1957), and Cal Jones (1955).

Linderbaum, a first-team all-American by Pro Football Focus, is trying to become the first Hawkeye winner of the Rimington. Previous Iowa finalists were Austin Blythe (2015) and Bruce Nelson (2002).

Iowa all-Big Ten punter Tory Taylor was up for the Ray Guy Award but not named one of three finalists. Defensive coordinator Phil Parker was not named one of five finalists for the Broyles Award, given to the nation's top assistant coach.

Winners will be announced on ESPN's Home Depot College Football Awards show on Jan. 7.

Tyler Linderbaum has been a dominant force at center for the Hawkeyes and Kirk Ferentz calls him one of the best he's ever coached.