By Tim Whelan Jr., USA TODAY High School Sports | October 27, 2017 5:17 pm
Solon (Iowa) defensive tackle Tyler Linderbaum received his U.S. Army All-American Bowl jersey at his school Friday as part of the Army All-American Selection Tour Presented by American Family Insurance.
“I’m just so excited to play in this Army Bowl,” Linderbaum said. “It’s a great honor that I couldn’t pass up.”
Linderbaum, a 6-2, 255-pound three-star, is ranked as the No. 2 recruit in Iowa and the country’s No. 38 defensive tackle according to the 247 Sports Composite.
He has been committed to Iowa since May 1.
“I live 10, 15 minutes from the Iowa campus,” Linderbaum said. “I grew up watching the Hawks. It was hard to pass them up. The coaches, the fan base, everything about it – that’s why I chose them. I couldn’t picture myself anywhere else.
“Once I got my scholarship offer from them, I knew it would be hard to turn down,” he added. “But I didn’t want to rush the decision. Once I made the decision, I was 100 percent invested. I can’t wait to get there.”
While Linderbaum remembers seeing current Iowa freshman offensive tackle Tristan Wirfs from nearby Mount Vernon (Iowa) play last year, he will be the first from his school to suit up for the Army All-American Bowl.
“It’ll be awesome to represent this community,” he said.
Linderbaum and Solon (9-0) host Decorah-North Winneshiek in the Class 3A playoffs Friday night.
“I looking forward to this playoff game and finishing the year strong,” Linderbaum said. “I’m looking forward to my other sports, too.”
Aside from being one of the country’s most dominant two-way linemen (he also plays center), Linderbaum is also the rare four-sport high school athlete. In the winter, he wrestles. In the spring, he is a thrower for the track and field team. And in the summer? Baseball, where he plays third, first and pitches (Iowa is unique in that its high school baseball season is in summer).
Linderbaum, a Packer fan looks up to Green Bay defensive lineman and Iowa alum Mike Daniels, noted that there is a lot to love about his fall sport of choice.
“The physicality of it, and the team aspect,” he said. “Football is one of a kind. All 11 guys on the field truly matter. The team aspect of it, it’s special.”
The U.S. Army All American Bowl presented by American Family Insurance is scheduled for Jan. 6 at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas, and will be televised live on NBC at 1 p.m. EST.