The Iowa Hawkeyes under Kirk Ferentz have been built from the inside out. At his core, Ferentz is an offensive line guru and success in his mind is built on a strong running game and protecting the football. The Hawkeyes, as such, have been built on a strong offensive line and Iowa’s most successful years have churned out tremendous numbers of NFL linemen.

To be successful in 2020, Iowa will again need to lean on its line to both run the ball and protect a new starting QB.

While Iowa is looking to replace an All-American at right tackle, they have a stalwart to anchor the left side of the line returning in Alaric Jackson. Jackson was a potential first-rounder entering 2019 before an injury cost him time in the lineup and productivity throughout the season.

Entering his fourth year as a starter at LT, Jackson brings with him 2,245 career snaps at the position. In that time, he’s given up just 6 sacks – two in each of the last three seasons. If you’re looking to build an Iowa offensive line, a stalwart like Alaric Jackson is about as good as you can hope for.

While Jackson is the headliner for Iowa’s offensive line in 2020, the man in the middle is a potential star. Tyler Linderbaum came to Iowa as a defensive tackle prospect, but quickly changed sides of the ball. After taking a redshirt year in 2018, Linderbaum became Iowa’s starter at center in last season.

It took little time to realize what the Hawkeyes had in their new center last season and what they had was a star in the making. Linderbaum is a mauler with a mean streak. His prior life on the defensive line really shows through in the run game and he’s a very strong pass blocker. In short order, Iowa went from question marks after replacing 2nd rounder James Daniels to wondering if they would be losing Linderbaum after the 2020 season.

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