Defensive backs and tight ends, that’s what Iowa football does. Or perhaps more accurately, that’s what Iowa football does better than anyone else. The Hawkeyes have produced loads of NFL talent over the last two decades, but no position is quite as well represented as defensive back or tight end. If you start at Iowa at one of those spots, you’re almost guaranteed to get a contract in the NFL.
That’s the hope for Wisconsin tight end prospect Addison Ostrenga. The former Iowa baseball commit picked up an offer from the football staff during this recruiting cycle and couldn’t pass up the opportunity to play tight end at Tight End U.
Today, Ostrenga made it official as he signed his national letter of intent to play football at the University of Iowa.
Why Iowa? "Iowa is TEU."— Hawkeye Football (@HawkeyeFootball) December 15, 2021
Welcome home, @AddisonOstrenga! #Swarm22 | #Hawkeyes pic.twitter.com/dRrBLwVR1q
To be clear, that’s to play only football at Iowa, though the prospect of trying to do both sports did come up during the recruiting process. Here’s what Ostrenga told Hawkeye Report about the decision to play football over baseball for the Hawkeyes:
“Ever since I committed to Iowa last summer for baseball, I have fallen in love with Iowa City. It was a tough decision to choose football over baseball, but after my spring football season I knew I wanted to take a shot at playing college football. There was talk of me doing both and the coaches were open to that idea, but after this past season I felt more confident in pursuing football.
On the football field, Ostrenga looks an awful lot like your prototypical Iowa tight end. He comes in with a Big Ten frame at 6’4” and 220 pounds. As a prep, he used that big body to out-physical opponents in both the run game as a blocker and in the passing game as a receiver.
He finished his senior season at Sun Prairie with 664 yards and 8 touchdowns on 46 receptions for an average of 14.4 yards per catch. Perhaps just as impressive were his defensive stats, where he racked up 57 tackles, 17 TFL, and 9 sacks, 3 fumble recoveries, 2 forced fumbles, 2 defensive TDs and 2 safeties. As a junior, Ostrenga hauled in 19 catches for 328 yards and 3 TDs while piling up 28 tackles and 3 TFL on defense in just six games due to a COVID-shortened season.
The Hawkeyes are signing two tight ends in this class with Indiana native Cael Vanderbush a taller, slightly more pass-catching tight end. Ostrenga, on the other hand, is your prototype in line tight end who is more developed as a blocker but shows good hands, solid straight line speed and the ability to make a catch over the middle through contact.
Because he had been committed to Rick Heller and the Iowa baseball program for over a year, Ostrenga didn’t really get a ton of recruiting momentum on the football field. After the Hawkeyes gave him an offer on the football field, he did get some interest from the likes of Minnesota and Wisconsin, but stuck strong with his commitment to the Hawkeyes.
Welcome aboard, officially, Addison Ostrenga!