Iowa Hawkeyes football all-time roster: Offensive starters and backups

The Iowa Hawkeyes have a rich history with some of the game’s titans suiting up in the black and gold. Hawkeyes Wire is taking a look back at Iowa’s finest offensive playmakers, defensive standouts, specialists and coaches from its entire history.

Who makes the cut on Iowa’s all-time offensive two-deep? Which quarterbacks define the Hawkeyes’ history books? How about the running back position? Who has stolen the show in Iowa’s backfield?

Along the skill positions, which wide receivers and tight ends make it among the Hawkeyes’ all-time two deep. Who has been paving the way on Iowa’s offensive line historically? Let’s take a look at the best offensive players in Hawkeyes history.

Check out our other College Wire all-time lineups: AlabamaArkansasAuburnClemson / Colorado / FloridaGeorgiaLSUMichiganMichigan StateNebraskaNorth CarolinaNotre DameOhio StateOklahomaOregonPenn StateRutgersTennesseeTexasTexas A&MUSCWisconsin

Starting QB: Chuck Long

Chuck Long

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There’s really no other answer at the top. Chuck Long was the 1985 Heisman Trophy runner-up, won the Maxwell Trophy and was an unanimous consensus All-American. He ended his Iowa career with 74 passing touchdowns and he became the first quarterback in NCAA history to ever pass for more than 10,000 career yards. Still today, Long’s 10,461 career passing yards are more than 2,000 passing yards clear of the next-closest Hawkeye’s total.

Backup QB: Brad Banks

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In 2002, Brad Banks was simply electric. Banks earned Associated Press National Player of the Year, was the 2002 Davey O’Brien Award recipient and was the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year. He passed for 2,573 yards and 26 touchdowns en route to a Heisman runner-up finish.

Starting RB: Nile Kinnick

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Iowa’s lone Heisman Trophy winner. Nile Kinnick won the Heisman Trophy, the Maxwell Trophy and the Walter Camp Trophy in 1939. The Hawkeyes’ football stadium, Kinnick Stadium, is named after Nile. Kinnick passed away in the Caribbean sea in a crash of his fighter plane while on a training flight June 2, 1943, as an ensign in the United States Navy.

Backup RB: Shonn Greene

Matthew Holst/Iowa City Press-Citizen

Look, because of the history, it’s hard to supplant Kinnick at No. 1 on the all-time Iowa running back depth chart. Shonn Greene gives Nile a run for his money, though. In the 2008 season, Greene rushed for a program single-season best 1,850 yards and 20 touchdowns. As a result, he won the Doak Walker Award and was named a consensus All-American.

Starting WR No. 1: Marvin McNutt Jr.

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Marvin McNutt Jr. is the first all-time starting wide receiver for the Hawkeyes. His 1,315 receiving yards in 2011 are a single-season best. McNutt Jr. is also the career leader in receiving yards with 2,861 and receiving touchdowns with 28.

Backup WR No. 1: Derrell Johnson-Koulianos

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Derrell Johnson-Koulianos is No. 2 in Iowa’s all-time receiving yardage list with 2,616 and he is No. 5 in career touchdown receptions with 17.

Starting WR No. 2: Kevin Kasper

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Kevin Kasper was fantastic. His 1,974 career receiving yards check in No. 5 on the Hawkeyes’ all-time list and his 13 receptions against Ohio State on Oct. 30, 1999 is tied with Nick Bell for the single-game program best. Kasper registered 1,010 receiving yards during the 2000 season, which ranks No. 3 in that Iowa single-season department all-time.

Backup WR No. 2: Danan Hughes

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Hughes is tied-second alongside Tim Dwight in career touchdown receptions with 21. He also ranks No. 4 all-time in career receiving yards with 2,216.

Starting WR No. 3: Tim Dwight

Matthew Stockman

Tim Dwight ranks No. 3 on the all-time receiving yardage list with 2,271 yards and tied-second on the career touchdown receptions list with 21.

Backup WR No. 3: Quinn Early

Rick Stewart/ALLSPORT

Quinn Early has the single-game receiving yardage record for the Hawkeyes with his 256 receiving yards and four touchdowns on 10 grabs against Northwestern on Nov. 7, 1987. Early’s 1,004 receiving yards in 1987 rank fourth.

Starting TE: Dallas Clark

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Dallas Clark won the John Mackey Award and was a unanimous All-American in 2002. Clark hauled in 43 passes for 742 yards with four touchdown receptions in 2002.

Backup TE: Marv Cook

Joseph Cress/Iowa City Press-Citizen

Iowa has been the hotbed for some of the nation’s best tight ends over the past quarter century, and there’s fans reading this scratching their heads asking where George Kittle, T.J. Hockenson, or Noah Fant are at. Don’t forget that Marv Cook was a consensus All-America pick in 1988 and a two-time first-team All-Big Ten member. Cook combined for 1,570 receiving yards on 112 receptions with five touchdown grabs over the 1987 and 1988 seasons.

Starting C: Tyler Linderbaum

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There’s no recency bias here. Tyler Linderbaum’s Rimington Trophy and his unanimous consensus All-American status in 2021 cement his status atop Iowa’s all-time centers list.

Backup C: Jerry Hilgenberg

Joseph Cress/Iowa City Press-Citizen

Jerry Hilgenberg was a first-team All-American and first-team All-Big Ten member in 1953.

Starting OG No. 1: Cal Jones

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One of just two retired numbers in Iowa history belongs to Cal Jones. He was a three-time first-team All-American in the 1953-55 seasons. He also won the 1955 Outland Trophy.

Backup OG No. 1: Eric Steinbach

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Eric Steinbach was a consensus All-American and first-team All-Big Ten pick in 2002.

Starting OG No. 2: John Niland

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John Niland was a first-team All-Big Ten member and first-team All-American in 1965.

Backup OG No. 2: Mark Manders

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Mark Manders garnered first-team All-American honors and first-team All-Big Ten status in 1960.

Starting OT No. 1: Tristan Wirfs

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Tristan Wirfs was a first-team All-American and first-team All-Big Ten selection in 2019. He finished as a semifinalist for the Outland Trophy in 2019.

Backup OT No. 1: Robert Gallery

AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall

Robert Gallery helped set the standard for offensive linemen in the Kirk Ferentz era. He was a consensus All-American and won the Outland Trophy in 2003. Gallery was also a two-time first-team All-Big Ten member.

Starting OT No. 2: Brandon Scherff

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Brandon Scherff also captured the Outland Trophy in 2014. He was a first-team All-American in 2014 and a two-time All-Big Ten selection.

Backup OT No. 2: Duke Slater

Bryon Houlgrave/The Register

Like Kinnick, Duke Slater is immortalized at Iowa. It’s Duke Slater Field that the Hawkeyes call home. Slater was a first-team All-American in 1921 and a three-time first-team All-Big Ten honoree.

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Story originally appeared on Hawkeyes Wire