The transfer of former Michigan quarterback Cade McNamara to Iowa has dominated the offseason discourse surrounding the Hawkeyes, and with good reason. McNamara is an accomplished quarterback who led his team to a Big Ten Championship and College Football Playoff appearance and will be poised to make an immediate impact at what might be Iowa’s biggest position of need in 2023. Shortly after snagging McNamara, however, Iowa also received a commitment from a player who may not only have supplanted McNamara as Iowa’s most talented transfer but may also have relegated the quarterback to being the second-best player to transfer to the Hawkeyes from Michigan alone.
Erick All (Sr.)
6’5”, 255 lbs.
Fairfield, OH (Fairfield HS, by way of the University of Michigan)
2023 projection: Co-starting tight end
Erick All’s journey to Iowa was anything but straightforward. After nearly dying during a house fire as a small child, All grew up to become one of the most coveted tight ends in the country. While the Hawkeyes offered the four-star recruit out of high school, All ultimately opted to take his talents to Ann Arbor. His breakout season for the maize & blue came during his junior year, where All compiled 38 catches for 437 yards and two touchdowns en route to earning Honorable Mention All-Big Ten honors. While All was expected to play a major role in Michigan’s Big Ten title defense in 2022, a back injury limited him to only three games, spoiling what was expected to be a huge senior season. As rumors began to emerge surrounding All’s frustration with Michigan’s handling of his injury, All ultimately opted to transfer to Iowa to reunite with his former quarterback, allowing him to restart his career at a school known for producing elite NFL tight ends.
Erick All’s combination of physicality and athleticism make him a perfect fit for Iowa’s offense. All is an aggressive and technically sound blocker who can hold the edge against blitzing linebackers and get to the second level on run plays. As a pass-catcher, All has demonstrated excellent hands, crip route-running, and an ability to make contested catches in traffic. All does not have elite speed but is more than capable of making plays after the catch, as evidenced by his 47-yard go-ahead touchdown against Penn State in 2021.
Despite Iowa appearing set at tight end with Luke Lachey already on the roster, there is ample reason to believe the two players can co-exist together. Not only has Iowa found success deploying two-tight end sets before with players like Noah Fant and TJ Hockenson, but All’s positional versatility allows him to line up as an H-back, slot receiver, and wideout in addition to a traditional in-line tight end. Given Iowa’s lack of depth and experience and wide receiver, its uncertainty at the fullback position, and its need for physical blockers to help establish the run game, fans should expect All and Lachey to spend plenty of time together on the field next season. Assuming All can return to his pre-injury level of play, his athleticism, toughness, and excellent chemistry with McNamara should make him an immediate impact player on an offense in desperate need of them.