First impressions: Hawkeye defensive linemen

February 27, 2018 GMT

One in a series of looks at the Iowa football program’s 2018 recruiting class, position by position.

The newcomers

Tyler Linderbaum, 6-2, 270, Solon, Iowa (Solon HS)

Daviyon Nixon, 6-5, 295, Kenosha, Wis. (Iowa Western CC)

Noah Shannon, 6-1, 300, Aurora, Ill. (Oswego HS)

John Waggoner, 6-5, 245, Des Moines (Dowling HS)

The details

TYLER LINDERBAUM: Selected to the U.S. Army All-American team as a senior, participating in the all-star game in San Antonio in January. … Two-time first-team Class 3A all-state selection. … Three-year letterwinner on the offensive and defensive line at Solon. … Recorded 37 tackles as a senior, with three tackles for a loss and two sacks. … As a junior, counted 28 solo stops among 44 tackles, had seven tackles for a loss, three sacks and recovered one fumble. … Had six tackles for a loss and four sacks among 27.5 tackles as a sophomore. … Four-year letterwinner in baseball and three-time letterwinner in wrestling and track. … Placed fifth in the Iowa Class 2A state wrestling tournament at 285 pounds as a junior, compiling a 53-10 record. … Qualified for the Drake Relays in the shot put as a junior with a personal best of 54 feet.

DAVIYON NIXON: Enrolled at Iowa in January after spending last fall at Iowa Western Community College, where he earned second-team all-conference honors while recording 44 tackles with nine tackles for a loss and five sacks as part of an 11-1 team. … Initially signed with Iowa a year ago out of Indian Trail High School in Kenosha, Wisconsin, where he earned first-team all-state honors as a senior. … Lettered four years as a defensive lineman and tight end in high school. … Recorded 45 tackles in eight games a senior in high school, including eight tackles for a loss, six sacks, four forced fumbles and seven pass break ups. … As a junior, finished with 56 tackles in nine games including 10 tackles for a loss and nine sacks. … Four-year letterwinner in basketball at the high school level.

NOAH SHANNON: Was named by the Champaign News-Gazette to its Illinois all-state team. … First-team all-Southwest Prairie Conference selection as a senior and a second-team choice as a junior. … Two-time team most valuable player. … Played both tackle and end on defensive and guard and tackle on offense during his prep career at Oswego. … As a senior, recorded 46 tackles with 15 tackles for a loss, eight sacks and two forced fumbles. …. Had 11 tackles for a loss and 3.5 sacks among 56 tackles as a junior. … Finished his sophomore season with 48 tackles including seven tackles for a loss, two sacks and two forced fumbles. … Letterwinner in baseball.

JOHN WAGGONER: Two-time Iowa Class 4A first-team all-state selection. … Three-year letterwinner on Dowling teams which have won the last three Iowa Class 4A state championships. … Finished his senior season with 21.5 tackles including 16 solo efforts, 11 tackles for a loss and 5.5 sacks. … Also had six receptions for 59 yards on offense during his senior season. … Had 12 tackles for a loss among 27 tackles during a junior season which also included one fumble recovery and an interception returned five yards for a touchdown. … As a sophomore, recorded 8.5 tackles with three tackles for a loss and one sack. … Lettered in soccer and basketball at Dowling, earning second-team all-conference recognition in basketball as a junior.

The walk on

Brian Sadler, 6-1, 285, Jesup, Iowa (Jesup HS)

The thoughts

Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz on what coaches look for in defensive line prospects: “Our hopes and goal is to have all those guys play on defense. Every position is important, but if you can gain traction up front that’s certainly a good thing. It makes it easier on the guys behind them. The way we play defense, it takes a certain kind of player, a really unselfish guy because our guys are not necessarily playing for stats. They’re playing to get the linebackers and the safeties where they can function and do the things they have to do to make our defense work. It takes a special guy and we’re excited about all the young guys who signed with us.”

Returning depth

Pinstripe Bowl starters: LE Anthony Nelson, jr.; LT Matt Nelson, jr.; RE Parker Hesse, sr.

Pinstripe Bowl second team: LE Sam Brincks, sr.; LT Cedrick Lattimore, jr.; RT Brady Reiff, jr.; RE A.J. Epenesa, soph.

2017 signings

Levi Duwa, DE, 6-3, 235, Kalona, Iowa (Mid-Prairie HS)

A.J. Epenesa, DE, 6-5, 270, Edwardsville, Ill. (Edwardsville HS)