Three Native Iowans Will Play In This Weekend’s Super Bowl
This Sunday, the Kansas City Chiefs try to repeat as Super Bowl champions, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers attempt to win their first NFL title since 2003. Each team will have native Iowans on the field.
When Tampa Bay has the ball, Mt. Vernon, Iowa native Tristan Wirfs will be on the offensive line. The 22-year-old, who stands 6-foot 5-inches and weighs 320-pounds according to NFL.com, entered the NFL draft after his junior season at the University of Iowa. He was the 13th player selected in the 2020 draft.
Wirfs has had an incredible rookie season. According to PFF, he's allowed just one sack in nearly 1,300 snaps over the regular and postseason. He's also committed only four penalties this season. Wirfs wears #78.
On the defensive side of the ball, the Buccaneers have another Iowa native and former Hawkeye.
Urbandale, Iowa native Anthony Nelson was second in the Big Ten in 2018, and 17th nationally with 9.5 sacks, during his junior season at Iowa. After forgoing his senior year as a Hawkeye, Nelson was taken in the fourth round of the 2019 draft by Tampa Bay. The 6'7", 271-pound Nelson, plays linebacker for Tampa Bay. He's seen action in all but two Buccaneer games this year, according to ESPN. He wears #98.
On the other sideline of Sunday night's game will be Ben Niemann who was born in Des Moines, Iowa. During his final three years at the University of Iowa, the 6'2", 235-pound linebacker started 40 consecutive games.
Niemann has played in 45 of Kansas City's 48 regular-season games since they signed him as an undrafted free agent following the 2018 NFL draft. This season, ESPN's stats show a sack, a forced fumble, and a fumble recovery for Niemann.
Ben Niemann, who had a big hit on San Francisco quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo in last year's Super Bowl (photo below), will be trying for his second Super Bowl ring. He wears #56.
Super Bowl LV (55) kicks off Sunday afternoon at 5:30 p.m. Iowa time. You can watch it on CBS.