For Iowa State, the tight end position is one that has been virtually unoccupied in terms of production since the departure of EJ Bibbs after the 2014 season. There is new life at this spot, however, and this group should only become more involved in the offense going forward.
Iowa State finished the 2017 campaign with 7 tight ends on the roster, but only 2-3 who earned any real playing time.
When grading this unit’s performance, the conversation has to start with Chase Allen. Allen came in as a highly-touted recruit, but was forced to redshirt his first season due to a menagerie of injuries and illnesses. While Chase did not turn out to be huge receiving threat (4 catches for 39 yards), he did show an ability to make tough catches. What no one saw coming was his ability as a blocker, and it was this that earned him a second-team All-Big 12 honors as a freshmen.
Highlight of the Season
While Sam Seonbuchner is listed as at the F position, playing the fullback/blocker role out of the backfield, I’m throwing him in with the tight ends, sue me. The redshirt junior linebacker-convert was heavily involved in the run game, and displayed solid blocking ability as well.
In all, while the blocking was solid as a whole, there were some lapses in blocking the screen game and on inside runs to help free up things for David Montgomery. While Chase Allen did show promise in the receiving game, the tight end group as a whole has not distinguished themselves enough to make them a credible threat in the passing game.
Overall grade: B
Position Group MVP
This is an easy one.
Chase Allen has the size and skill to be a solid tight end at worst, and has the ceiling to be a dangerous threat in the passing game at best. His role should expand going forward.
Outlook for 2018
It’s very difficult not to be excited about the potential of this unit in 2018. Chase Allen returns with valuable experience and playing time, Sam Seonbuchner should provide value in the running game, and freshmen Charlie Kolar and Dylan Soehner should see action as well.
Dylan Soehner, who checks in at 6’7” 271 lbs, has the size to be a force on both facets of the game offensively. The coaching staff has raved about his ability, and playing both him and Chase Allen should offer ISU some nice options in the redzone and on short-yardage situations.