In his fifth and final season on the Iowa Football team, Tyler Kluver has high hopes for what the future holds, on and off the field. Kluver helps lead the team in preparing for his final game as a Hawkeye, with one goal in mind: victory.
by Megan Sprengeler
IOWA CITY, Iowa – Hawkeye fans haven’t hung up their black and gold just yet. Still eagerly awaiting the last game of the season, the Iowa pride in the air is electric, despite the regular season coming to a close.
This bowl game marks the Hawkeye’s ninth bowl-game appearance in the last 10 years under University of Iowa head coach, Kirk Ferentz.
Fifth-year senior, Tyler Kluver, has been around to see five of those bowl game appearances. To the list of bowl games Kluver has attended consecutively between 2014 and 2017, including the Rose Bowl, TaxSlayer Bowl, two trips to the Outback Bowl, he can add New York City’s Pinstripe Bowl.
The Iowa Hawkeyes will take on the Boston College Eagles, Wednesday, December 27th at 4:15 PM (CT) in the 2017 Pinstripe Bowl held at Yankee Stadium.
“[We are] still alive in college football,” Kluver said. “The immediate goal is to be playing in the post-season. It’s definitely better to be playing and preparing to play than sitting at home.”
This bowl game has a bigger meaning than simply making an appearance. Not only will it be his last game in a Hawkeye uniform, but it will also be his last chance at bringing home a bowl game win.
The team has lost the past five bowl games they’ve attended between 2011 and 2017, missing bids in 2012 and 2013.
“I don’t think we’ve been prepping differently,” Kluver said, “this is a new team and a new year and we have one focus: that’s just winning the bowl-game. We do what our coaches ask, we know they have the best plan.”
Despite the teams record in post-season games, Kluver and the senior class are determined to come home to Iowa City with one last Hawkeye win under their belts. The team has been working relentlessly to break the streak.
Kluver’s last hoorah as a Hawkeye marks a chapter closing, but also marks the start of a new age for the loyal Iowa-native.
“It’ll be tough,” Kluver said. “This [has been] the best four-and-a-half years of my life. It’s bittersweet. There’s bigger things in life, but it’ll be tough at times.”
The long-snapper graduated on December 16th with a bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science.
Kluver is hopeful he’ll receive a phone call after the NFL draft; however, he has his sights set on the “real world” if that doesn’t pan out, including plans to marry his fiancé.
“I have these relationships that will last forever,” Kluver said. “The family aspect of it, being able to help each other and having lifelong friends is something that you can’t really buy. That’s probably the best part [about being a Hawkeye].”
The Hawkeyes ended the regular season 7-5 overall, landing them the third spot in the Big Ten West, with an impressive win over top-five team, Ohio State, in Historic Kinnick; something to be proud of for Kluver and the graduating class.