Iowa football: 30 greatest players in Hawkeyes history

Ricky Stanzi, Iowa Hawkeyes. (Photo by David Purdy/Getty Images)
Ricky Stanzi, Iowa Hawkeyes. (Photo by David Purdy/Getty Images) /
15 of 31
Dallas Clark, Indianapolis Colts
Dallas Clark, Indianapolis Colts. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /

Dallas Clark is the guy that put the Iowa football team back on the map from a tight end perspective. He is the original in what is now a long line of great tight ends of the Kirk Ferentz era. Clark was a catalyst for the Hawks’ turnaround under Ferentz.

Just two seasons into a position switch from linebacker to tight end, Clark had one of the best seasons ever for a Hawkeye tight end, as he caught 43 passes for 742 yards and four touchdowns. He was the second leading receiver on a Hawkeyes team that went 11-2 and made it to the Orange Bowl.

At the conclusion of the season, he was named First-Team All-Big Ten, a unanimous All-American and the winner of the John Mackey Award, given to the nation’s best tight end.

His dominance in the early 2000s led to the Big Ten even partly naming their annual tight end award after him.

Clark would go on to be drafted in the first round of the NFL, where he would go on to catch 505 balls for 5,665 yards and 53 touchdowns.

The Twin River Valley product set a standard for tight ends to come and helped propel the Iowa football team back into the national conversation after a few tough seasons.

Today, he is a finalist for election into the College Football Hall of Fame.