Folks, we’re another day closer to the start of the Iowa Hawkeye Football season. And as such, our countdown continues, once again highlighting a pair of players who more than likely won’t see much, if any, playing time come the fall: walk-on tight end Tommy Kujawa and walk-on defensive end Zack Lasek.
Greendale, WI (Greendale)
6’3”, 235 lbs
2020 Projection: Reserve tight end
We pretty much know that Kujawa will not be the starting tight end this year after the emergence late last season of Sam LaPorta, the people’s tight end. Beyond that for Kujawa? Who knows!
No spring practice means no spring depth charts, so Kujawa’s status is up in the air. What we know is that he came to the team as a walk-on in 2017, took a redshirt year, and hasn’t seen any game action in the two seasons since. He was also behind Nate Wieting and LaPorta going into the Holiday Bowl depth chart (and all season, at that), so it’s probably pretty easy to assume Kujawa will most likely see playing time late in games, if at all, in his fourth year with the program.
Could he be another diamond-in-the-rough walk on tight end? Unlikely. Have crazier things happened in this program? Yes. So, we’ll see. In the meantime, let’s take a look at Kujawa’s tape from his senior season of high school:
The tight end was used a lot of different ways in high school, and chose Iowa as a preferred walk on over offers from Northern Illinois and Illinois State, as well as another preferred walk-on role at Arkansas. The deciding factor might have been that Kujawa’s uncle is former Iowa fullback Paul Kujawa.
Kujawa also has been pretty active on social media in the last few days, including posting the following in solidarity with his teammates:
Chances seem high that Kujawa sees the field this season. But if not, we at least know he’s supporting his teammates in their fight for change within the football program.
Ainsworth, IA (Highland)
6’8”, 245 lbs
2020 Projection: Redshirt
Lasek is an incoming freshman who will also be walking on to the program as a preferred walk-on. Given that, I’d say the likelihood is high that he will redshirt. He’s got the height to be a defensive end at 6’8 but he will certainly need to hit the weight room if he wants to see the field — 245 seems a little low for a Division I defensive end.
Rivals or 247 didn’t have any ratings for Lasek, and he only had offers from Northern Iowa, Minnesota State and Illinois State, and had interests from Nebraska and Iowa State, but the recruitment from Kelvin Bell sold him on the program.
During his senior season, Lasek tallied 76 tackles, 4.5 sacks and 10.5 tackles for loss for Highland High School in Ainsworth, just down the road from Iowa City:
Let’s check out his high school highlights: