GUARD MATT TOBIN
Arrival: The 6-6, 290-pounder arrived in 2008 as a walk-on from Dyersville Beckman (Worthington). He was big, but raw. It didn’t take long for him to find the depth chart. After his redshirt freshman season in 2009, Tobin made his first appearance as a No. 2 left tackle.
That wasn’t going anywhere. Tobin was behind Bryan Bulaga and Riley Reiff also was starting to head in that direction. Yes, that wasn’t going anywhere. On the spring 2011 depth chart, Tobin was listed No. 2 left tackle behind Reiff, but Iowa had an opening at left guard. Redshirt freshman Brandon Scherff got a shot, but the job remained open until camp, when Tobin made his move.
Scherff suffered a concussion during camp and fell out of the competition. Sophomore Nolan MacMillan, who started six games as a redshirt frosh, missed camp recovering from a sports hernia. Tobin moved in and started 10 of 13 games at left guard in 2011.
“One thing about Matt, he’s worked hard since he got here,” Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz said. “He just wasn’t big enough or strong enough. He’s making the most of his opportunities; it’s great to see.”
Tobin earned a scholarship going into last season.
Takeoff 2012: One little tidbit about Tobin you might not know is he went toe-to-toe with all-American defensive end Adrian Clayborn during 2010 spring practice. This doesn’t mean much, anyone can fight, but it does take some heart to take on Clayborn, especially as a walk-on sophomore against a soon-to-be first-round draft pick.
Tobin held the spot until the Minnesota game, when Scherff nudged ahead for the next three starts. Tobin had his struggles, but did come on at the end of the season, particularly against Purdue and DT Kawann Short. After Purdue, Tobin had a solid spot in the lineup.
This spring, Tobin shared time with junior Conor Boffeli, who rotated in at both guard spots. Ferentz mentioned at the beginning of spring that Tobin might get a look at tackle. That didn’t happen, but he again should start at left guard for his senior season.