Iowa Eight: Solon's Tyler Linderbaum is a rare breed at defensive tackle

Matthew Bain
The Des Moines Register

Tyler Linderbaum

School: Solon

Solon's Tyler Linderbaum runs drills during practice on Tuesday, Aug. 8, 2017.

Class: 2018

Height: 6-foot-2

Weight: 270 pounds

Position: Defensive tackle

Key stats: Linderbaum, an Iowa recruit, landed on the 2016 All-Iowa Class 3A team after racking up 42.5 tackles, seven solo tackles for loss and three solo sacks. He has a nose for the ball, too, recovering a fumble and returning an interception 70 yards for a touchdown. As a sophomore two years ago, Linderbaum recorded 27.5 tackles, six solo tackles for loss and four solo sacks.

Why he's one of the Iowa Eight

Linderbaum doesn't look like your traditional nose tackle (or center, which he also plays for Solon). And he doesn't play traditionally, either. His speed, lateral quickness and athleticism bely his size and position. He excels in wrestling, baseball and throwing for the Spartans, and he certainly looks like a four-sport athlete on the football field.

Solon's Tyler Linderbaum misses a tag on Regina's Masen Miller during their game in Solon on Thursday, May 25, 2017.

"Where those (other defensive tackles) were kind of bulls in a china shop,"'s Allen Trieu told HawkCentral in May, "(Linderbaum) is a little bit more on the athletic side. ... (He does) a lot of things you don’t often see on a defensive tackle’s highlight film."

The 247Sports Composite assigns Linderbaum three stars and ranks him the No. 4 prospect in Iowa. It pegs him 66th among all 2018 defensive tackle prospects.

Future prospects

Linderbaum committed to the Hawkeyes in May. He had offers from Iowa State and Minnesota State, as well as interest from around the Midwest. Trieu said more schools would have likely offered had Linderbaum extended his recruitment.

But ... 

"I knew (Iowa) was going to be tough to beat," Linderbaum said. "I grew up being a Hawkeye fan and going to their games. So I know when I got that offer, I was like, 'Oh, that's going to be tough to beat.'"

Iowa offered March 5; he committed May 1.


"He's an integral part of our football team this year. He assumes an important role in that he plays center on our offense and then obviously plays nose, but he can play a variety of positions on the defensive line. He's just a great athlete, very coachable. He hasn't rested on his laurels. He's continued to strive to get better, and that says a lot about him as a person and as an athlete."

— Kevin Miller, Solon head coach

What is the Iowa Eight?

The Iowa Eight is Register’s preseason list of the eight best football prospects in the state, weighing past performance and future projection. Incoming freshmen through seniors are eligible. Selections are based on Register staff observations and consultation with high school, college and scouting contacts. The Register will have additional Iowa Eight lists for key prep boys’ and girls’ sports throughout the year.