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2020 Iowa State Football Position Previews: Tight Ends

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WE ARE TIGHT END U

NCAA Football: Texas at Iowa State Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports

Departures

None. One of biggest reasons that Iowa State is considered one of the best tight end groups in the country is because they literally lost no tight end of significance.

New Guys

Easton Dean

Ok, this guy isn’t really a “new guy,” but he is entering his redshirt freshman season after his move from quarterback to tight end. Dean should have a pretty big role on this year’s team, even though I don’t have anything to back that up other than this quote from Head Coach Matt Campbell, “on or off the record, Easton’s going to be the best tight end we’ve ever had here.”

Let me repeat that, “ON OR OFF THE RECORD, EASTON’S GOING TO BE THE BEST TIGHT END WE’VE EVER HAD HERE.”

I have no clue what role we will see him in as a freshman, but I’m extremely excited to see him back up that statement from Coach Campbell. Also, while you’re here, check out Dean’s extremely outdated scouting report as a quarterback.

Skylar Loving-Black

Similar to Dean, Loving-Black will be a redshirt-freshman that received some praise his first year. He’s talented, as you can see in his scouting report, but with such a crowded tight end room this season, it might be hard for him collect snaps.

Deshawn Hanika

A 6’6 transfer that is coming from Butler C.C. Will have four seasons of eligibility starting this season. Hanika has some solid film, but is joining a very packed tight end room. He will see the field, but will shine with a bigger role.

Don’t Forget About

Chase Allen

This is a 6’7 redshirt-senior who had huge expectations coming into Ames and didn’t live up to them as a freshman, often dealing with injuries and freshman growing pains, Allen didn’t make an impact on the field, but the last few years he’s flown under the radar while being one of the best tight ends in the Big 12.

Statistically, Allen isn’t going to blow you away. In 2019, he caught 17 passes for 167 with two touchdowns. Where Allen provides the most value is on the front line, I don’t have the stats to back this up, but Allen is one of the best blocking tight ends in the country. What Allen adds up front is extremely valuable in the run game and in the red zone.

Perhaps the most impressive tidbit is that Allen was an all-conference second-team selection last season despite ranking 37th in the conference in receiving yards, that’s telling.

Also, just because Allen isn’t the best statistical tight end on the team, doesn’t mean he can’t catch a pass. Last season, Allen made three catches for 33 yards with a touchdown in a loss against Oklahoma.

Dylan Soehner

THIS GUY IS HUGE. HE IS 6’7 AND 270 POUNDS OF PURE MUSCLE.

Soehner is another player like Allen, where his value goes far beyond catching passes. Through three seasons a Cyclone, Soehner has only caught 8 passes for 107 yards and a touchdown, but he’s made his impact known as a blocker and on special teams. In 2018, he won the Jim Doran Outstanding Special Teams Player for his work.

Again, he will be a huge piece of the team that probably won’t get the love he deserves.

Leader of the Pack

Charlie Kolar

The best tight end in the country is wearing the cardinal & gold. Kolar, a redshirt junior, has a number of accolades that I’m too lazy to type, so I’ll just post the screenshot.

He came onto the scene during his redshirt freshman season and instantly took over before becoming the first Iowa State tight end that was a threat since EJ Bibbs. Last year, once given a bigger role, Kolar caught 51 passes for 697 yards with seven touchdowns.

The stats don’t tell the full story, Kolar is the most consistent player on the Cyclones offense, yes even more than Brock Purdy. His insanely reliable hands and crafty routes make for a quarterbacks dream on 3rd and long.

In 2020, look for Kolar to be even better. He’s going to be stronger, more focused, and Purdy’s #1 option. Kolar would’ve been drafted if he declared in 2019, so I would be willing to bet that this is the last year we see Kolar as a Cyclone.

Predictions

Yep, I’m going bold. Charlie Kolar will be a UNANIMOUS first-team All-American. I believe that not only Kolar is the best tight end in the country, but we also lost all but 38 teams this season. He’s far and away the best tight end on those 38 teams.

Chase Allen will have another All-Big 12 season, despite maybe a loss of production due to Dean, Hanika, and Loving-Black. Regardless, he will still be a very valuable piece as a blocker on the team.

The others are all wild cards until we see the first game of the season, but as of right now we know that Kolar, Allen, and Soehner will be the dudes.

Tight End Projections

Name GP Catches Yards TDs
Name GP Catches Yards TDs
Charlie Kolar 10 62 868 7
Chase Allen 10 15 165 3
Dylan Soehner 10 5 40 1
Easton Dean 6 7 45 0
Skylar Loving-Black 3 1 12 0
Deshawn Hanika 3 1 7 0

This group of guys is going show exactly why they are Tight End U.