Most of us would agree that the Iowa football program is Tight End U, but ESPN didn’t think so in their recent rankings of tight end producing schools.
It’s a tough debate to have trying to decide what schools produce the best talent at a given position, but ESPN attempted to do so when they analyzed each of the core positions to determine which school can legitimately stake claim to position U. When scrolling down the list, I fully anticipated the Iowa football program would be firmly entrenched as Tight End U as we claimed they should be earlier this year.
Yet, they weren’t.
The University of Miami was.
So I had to go back to the top and read through the criteria. Here’s the gist of how ESPN analyzed this. They looked at all players from 1998 through this past season and assigned weights to different honors and performances in both college and the NFL.
Basically, what it came down to, as we even discussed in our analysis of who Tight End U is, is Miami was fantastic at producing great tight ends in the 2000s. Their dominance then carried them into this award despite the Iowa football having two first-round tight ends on the same team and a former Iowa football tight end George Kittle setting records last season.
Recent events matter just as much as things that happened back in 1998, and that’s what cost the Hawkeyes the top spot. ESPN did, however, say the Hawks could overcome Miami soon.
"Iowa is a team that could take over the No. 1 spot if Miami isn’t careful."
With three tight ends added in the class of 2019 and two stud tight ends added in the class of 2020 (with the possibility of a third on the way), it’s very likely the Hawkeyes could take ESPN’s honor of Tight End U within the next 3-5 seasons.
Also of a side note, Michigan, who claimed to be Tight End U in recruiting materials earlier this year is nowhere to be found on this top ten list of tight ends.