Mike Gundy and his mullet have quite the allure to kids these days. Oklahoma State is one of the rising programs in college football and often appeal to recruits of this day and age due to their high-flying offense and snazzy uniform combinations.
Thus, you might understand why there was some concern surrounding Iowa State’s lone tight end commit, Charlie Kolar (@charliek333), when the Cowboys offered him a scholarship just days before National Signing Day 2017. OSU officially extended an offer on January 29 to the Norman, Oklahoma native, and many ISU fans who follow recruiting thought that’d be all it took for Kolar to flip from the good guys to the Marching Mullets.
Then, the most wonderful thing happened:
Extremely grateful for the offer from Oklahoma State but I'm a cyclone #CycloneSquad17— Charlie Kolar (@charliek333) January 31, 2017
Praise be for recruits who settle the worries of prospective fan bases.
Tight end is certainly a position that Iowa State needs to add talent to if we’re basing it off of 2016 production. Cyclone TEs caught a combined seven passes all season last year. Part of that is due to 2016 recruit Chase Allen not being ready to contribute (a bit more on that later), leaving Justin Chandler and Sam Harms as the main sources of playing time.
Chandler and Harms were both block-first guys, no matter how much this catch from Chandler against TCU may have made you think otherwise.
With Chandler gone through graduation, is Harms the default starter in 2017? Or will Allen or the true freshman Kolar overtake the position? First, let’s learn a little more about Kolar...
At 6-foot-6, 227 pounds, Kolar hails from Norman, Oklahoma and played for Norman North High School as a prep. In addition to Iowa State and Oklahoma State, he held offers from Air Force, Army, New Mexico, and Stephen F. Austin. Furthermore, Kolar was receiving interest from Houston and Kansas State.
In his senior season, Kolar tallied 59 total receptions for 1,120 yards and 11 receiving touchdowns. 247Sports grades him out as the 56th best tight end in the class of 2017.
You can’t teach height, and at 6-foot-6, Kolar will provide a big target for Cyclone quarterbacks to throw the ball to down the road. He also possesses good speed for his size and is one of those guys who seemingly “glides” when he runs. Of course, to be a dual-threat tight end, you have to be able to catch the ball well, and Kolar flashes that ability multiple times in his highlight video, using his hands to reel in passes over smaller defenders.
At just 227 pounds, Kolar will have to add 20-30 pounds to his frame if he wants to hold his own blocking defensive linemen and linebackers in the Big 12. However, his film often showed him coming out of the slot, and that may be how Coach Campbell prefers to use him once Kolar arrives in Ames. Regardless, a year or two in the weight room will do him good. He could also stand to improve the crispness of footwork running routes, but that’s also an ability that should get better with some TLC from college coaches.
2017 Tight End Outlook
Chase Allen probably would have been the starting tight end for Iowa State in 2017 were it not for him getting hit by a car last summer and coming down with a sickness during the fall that caused him to lose a lot of the weight he had built up. Assuming he adds those pounds back prior to the season opener this fall, I’d pencil him in as the starter over returning senior Sam Harms.
My guess is the tight ends will look something like this:
1. Chase Allen (RFr.)
2. Sam Harms (Sr.)
3. Cole Anderson (RJr.) OR
4. Sam Seonbuchner (RJr.)
I don’t see Kolar cracking the depth chart his first season on campus, but I expect him to see playing time in 2018. He’s a lot like Allen (both are 6-foot-6 receiving-first tight ends) and those two could provide a solid one-two punch for two or three years in a row.
Are you surprised Charlie Kolar stuck with his ISU commitment after Oklahoma State offered? Let’s hear your thoughts about the Cyclone tight ends in the comments.