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Player to Watch: UNI

I’m keeping an eye on a seldom used position for the Cyclones.

Iowa State Daily

Ever since the graduation of E.J. Bibbs, the tight end position has essentially been ignored at Iowa State. That may have changed last season had a certain promising not endured a string of injuries and illness led him to redshirt this past season.

Chase Allen

This week, I’m looking to see what Chase Allen can do and how he fits into this offense, both as a receiver and a blocker. At 6’6” 230 lbs, Allen has the size and athleticism to create a lot of problems for opposing defenses when running routes out of the slot or on delayed routes from a more traditional tight end spot. Allen will be touting a noticeable advantage in quickness over linebackers, and an even more noticeable size advantage over defensive backs. Teams will be forced to dedicate a tall safety or a nickel-back to cover him, creating more space for Iowa State’s talented receiving corps. Expect to see Chase lined up all over the field, running every route in the book, similar to what NFL fans see out of Jimmy Graham and Jordan Reed on Sundays.

I expect to see Chase Allen put in motion similar to Jordan Reed on this play throughout the game on Saturday.

Run blocking will surely be the part of Chase’s game which needs the most improvement, but he certainly has the size and athleticism to be an effective downfield blocker as an addition to his receiving ability. I’m specifically looking to see if Campbell & Co. try running stretch run plays to Chase’s side to take advantage of having an athletic downfield blocker to set the edge.

Regardless of how exactly Matt Campbell utilizes Allen, his presence on the field, along with any production he provides, will be a significant improvement to the usage of the tight end spot in the Cyclone offense.