By Ryan Murken
Your Prep Sports
SOLON – Tyler Linderbaum didn’t see it coming.
When Solon coach Kevin Miller pulled Linderbaum aside last week to give him the news that Iowa State was offering a scholarship the junior lineman was just shy of stunned.
“I wasn’t really expecting that,” Linderbaum explained. “When coach told me I was kind of speechless, I didn’t know what to say.”
Linderbaum may have been surprised by the other but Miller was not.
The long-time Solon coach doesn’t expect the offer from the Cyclones to be the last for the 6-foot-2, 255-pound Linderbaum.
“It didn’t surprise me at all and I anticipate there are going to be more offers,” Miller said. “He was a difference maker for us, there is no doubt about it. His junior year film is very impressive, he controlled the line of scrimmage.”
After watching Linderbaum grow into one of the state’s top defensive lineman over the past two season, Miller knew it was only a matter of time before college coaches came calling.
Second-year Iowa State head coach Matt Campbell became the first FBS coach to offer Linderbaum, informing Miller of his offer last week.
“It was exciting,” Linderbaum said. “To get that first offer was a great feeling.”
Linderbaum earned all-district honors as a two-way starter as a sophomore.
He emerged as a major college prospect last season, earning Class 3A first-team all-state honors while starting at defensive tackle and center.
Iowa State likes Linderbaum as a defensive tackle where he made 42.5 tackles and had three sacks among his seven tackles for loss last year.
Linderbaum also returned an interception 70 yards for a score last season while helping Solon to a 9-2 record and a spot in the 3A quarterfinals.
“He is a competitor, he just hates to lose and that shows,” Miller said. “He is a winner at the end of the day and when you are a winter like that you are going to be successful no matter what you do.”
Linderbaum talked with Iowa State coached during the January open recruiting period.
He said he still didn’t expect an offer to come so soon, now that it has he wants to try to visit campus.
“I talked to them a couple of weeks before it happened but I didn’t know they were going to offer,” Linderbaum said. “Now it’s just trying to get to know them more and visit the campus.”
A four-sport athlete, Linderbaum is in the middle of wrestling season where he sports a 44-7 record and is ranked fourth in 2A at 285 pounds.
He earned a medal in the shot put at the state track meet last year and was a .298 hitter as a first basemen on Solon’s state tournament baseball team.
“He’s an unbelievable athlete and I think that is what they like about him is that athletic side that he possesses,” Miller said. “He has quick takeoff he plays well with his hands and has great pad level and leverage. He is extremely talented and I really believe is his best football is ahead of him.”
The first offer isn’t an opportunity for Linderbaum to rest on his laurels.
Instead it is a source of motivation.
“That is a motivator,” Linderbaum said. “You want to get more and keep improving every day.”