It is widely accepted that Iowa is Tight End University. Any doubt about that was quashed a year ago when the Hawkeyes made history by sending two tight ends to the NFL in the first round of the draft.
The success putting guys like T.J. Hockenson and Noah Fant into the NFL, as well as the on field success former Hawkeyes like George Kittle continue to have, has certainly eased the burden for the Iowa coaches out on the recruiting trail looking for their next tight end prospect.
In the class of 2020, the Hawkeyes have two talented tight ends set to sign. One is a 6’7” 220 athlete from Ohio State’s back yard in Columbus. Luke Lachey has tremendous size for the tight end position. At 6’7”, he’ll be the tallest for Iowa since CJ Feidorowicz departed in 2013. Now he’s officially a Hawkeye
To go with that frame, Lachey boasts plus athleticism. He can outrun most linebackers and safeties and is a matchup nightmare in the redzone where he can go up and get the ball over just about anyone. Lachey also boasts good hands and solid maneuverability with the ball in his hands - something that can be an issue for players of his size.
As a senior at Grandview Heights in Columbus, Lachey used those talents to haul in 57 catches for 720 yards (12.6 ypc) and 7 touchdowns. He also ran for 337 yards and 3 TDs on 43 carries (7.8 ypc) while running some wildcat. As a defensive end, he also added 5 interceptions.
Those talents and his use of them earned Lachey plenty of attention on the recruiting trail. While Rivals only lists him as a 3-star, 247 Sports gives him the 4th. That seems more appropriate given his 27 offers. That includes the likes of LSU, Wisconsin, Michigan State, Minnesota, Iowa State, Nebraska, Georgia Tech, Yale, Princeton and a slew of others.
At Iowa, look for Lachey to push for early playing time. We saw the Hawkeyes rely on a freshman this year with the emergence of Sam LaPorta. Lachey has the physical tools to compete on a similar trajectory. If the tight end room shows progress this year, Lachey could use his 4 games to redshirt and further fill out to a longer term playing weight closer to 245-250 pounds.
Welcome aboard, officially, Luke Lachey!