IOWA CITY, Iowa - - University of Iowa linebacker Tyler Nielsen has been named a member of the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame’s 2012 Hampshire Honor Society. Eligible players must have been a starter or played a significant role in their final year of eligibility, and must have achieved a cumulative 3.2 GPA over the course of their undergraduate careers.
Nielsen, a senior in 2011, is eligible to received one of 16 postgraduate scholarships worth $18,000 from the National Football Foundation. The native of Humboldt, Iowa was a four-year letterman. He started all 12 games in which he played in 2011 and had 20 career starts. He recorded 73 tackles in his final season, including four tackles for loss, and recovered two fumbles. He earned national Player of the Week recognition for his play in Iowa’s home win over 13th-ranked Michigan.
Nielsen was named to the Capital One/CoSIDA District Six Academic All-America team as a junior and senior and earned Academic All-Big Ten recognition four straight years. He received the Forest Evashevski Academic Achievement Award and was a permanent captain as a senior. Nielsen earned honorable mention All-Big Ten honors and was awarded the Hayden Fry “Extra Heartbeat” Award for defense. He was a member of Iowa’s Leadership Group the last four years.
Nielsen was a semifinal candidate for the National Football Foundation’s William V. Campbell Trophy and the NFF’s Scholar-Athlete Award.
Nielson has signed an NFL free agent contract with the Minnesota Vikings. He is one of 11 Hawkeye players from this past season to be selected in the NFL Draft or sign an NFL free agent contract.