Kluver hoists one last Cy-Hawk
AMES — As players, coaches and even some fans flooded midfield, University of Iowa senior long snapper Tyler Kluver looked around for someone to join him near the 25-yard-line.
He couldn’t wait to get his hands on the Cy-Hawk Trophy one last time.
Kluver, a 2013 Marshalltown High School graduate, was the first Hawkeye to the prize even after waiting for the rest of his team to join him in hoisting the crown jewel of the Iowa Corn Cy-Hawk Series after Saturday’s 44-41 overtime victory.
As is tradition, the Hawkeyes carried the trophy across the field to where their marching band and a concentration of Iowa fans were seated near the south end zone of Jack Trice Stadium and sang the Hawkeye Fight Song in unison.
In the initial march across the field to the opposite corner, the 6-foot-tall Kluver carted the trophy on one shoulder accompanied by 6-5 senior offensive lineman Boone Myers on the other side. Myers could be heard calling for somebody taller to help portage the trophy, while Kluver was busy expressing how badly he’d waited to be a part of a Cy-Hawk win in his senior season.
“When you’re little you’re on the other side of the fence, and when you come to the other side of the fence and you work your ass off all year, it’s what we live for,” Kluver said on his way off the field Saturday in Ames. “I don’t know if we’ll experience anything as good as this, but definitely as a home-state guy I won’t. I didn’t want to leave Jack Trice and my senior year without the trophy.”
The common Hawkeye fan probably couldn’t identify Kluver without his uniform, and his presence on the field goes just as unnoticed to even some of the more dedicated Iowa football fanatics. The most air time Kluver has received in his five years as a Hawkeye was for his prowess solving a Rubik’s Cube in a GoHawksTV video released July 9 on YouTube.
In a Hawkeye Nation podcast entitled “Breaking Down the Depth Chart” released August 29, Kluver was the only member of Iowa’s two-deep starting lineup excluded from the show by host Jon Miller.
But for a long snapper, anonymity is a mostly good thing. Gary Dolphin, a radio broadcaster affectionately known as the “Voice of the Hawkeyes,” mentions Kluver alongside holder Colten Rastetter and placekicker Miguel Recinos with every field-goal attempt, but any more attention probably means bad news for Kluver and the Hawkeyes.
So far, in three seasons and two games, Kluver has kept himself out of the limelight. His snaps on field goals and punts have been on-target as far as the common fan can see, but Kluver’s quest for perfection prevents him from being content.
To the untrained eye, Kluver’s career as Iowa’s deep snapper has been nearly perfect. Following Saturday’s win at Iowa State, Kluver pointed out that he was slightly off-target one on particular attempt. His snap to Rastetter on Recinos’ tying 23-yard field goal with 5 minutes, 16 seconds left in regulation was a bit wobbly and more toward Rastetter’s body than what he would like.
It didn’t deter Kluver from enjoying the postgame celebration on the Cyclones’ home field.
“One snap,” he shrugged, “but yeah, to the naked eye it was good.”
So was the feeling of taking a traditional locker room photo with his special team unit holding the Cy-Hawk Trophy. In five years on the Iowa football team, Kluver has been a part of four wins against the in-state rival and 10 trophy games in all.
“As a member of the Senior Leadership Group, you don’t want to be in charge of a group that led a team that lost the Cy-Hawk,” he said.