Storyline #1: Who will replace the tight end production?
This is probably the biggest question on the minds of Iowa football fans everywhere.
The Iowa football team needs to replace 88 catches, 1,279 yards and 13 touchdowns from TJ Hockenson and Noah Fant. That’s not easy, and the lack of experience behind them is a big concern.
Three guys are continuing to battle for a role in the offense. Shaun Beyer came in the same recruiting class as Hockenson and Fant but has struggled with injuries and needed to put some size on. He’s a superior athlete and likely possesses the highest ceiling of the three.
Nate Wieting is the logical replacement given his standing as the third tight end last season. He was often used as an extra blocker at the tight end position, and he is the only guy who has caught a pass in this tight end rotation. The former walk-on wants to be the next great tight end at Tight End U, and he is now healthy and ready to show he belongs.
Last but not least is Drew Cook, the son of one of the greatest players in Iowa football history, Marv Cook. Cook, a former quarterback has had an interesting journey to becoming a tight end is the biggest mystery of the three tight ends.
The worst tight end season in the last decade for the Iowa football team was 16 catches, 167 yards, and 3 touchdowns by former Hawkeye CJ Fiedorowicz but with Brian Ferentz running the offense, I think the Hawks should be able to get to at least half of last year’s production (44 catches, 640 yards, 6 touchdowns) between these three guys. Either way, it will be something we will be monitoring constantly up to and during the 2019 season.