Playmakers and run blockers, Iowa State’s tight end position group can do it all for the offense, and no position group on the offense has the versatility to operate in as many roles as the tight ends.
Whether they are playing in line or in the backfield of the offenses formation, the Cyclones’ tight ends' primary function is to block first and catch passes second, but the team posses elite talent at the position to execute both roles flawlessly.
The most experienced tight end on the roster, Allen has been unlucky in two of his three seasons as a Cyclone.
In his freshman year, Allen was hit by a car in July 2016, prompting a visit to the hospital and 103 stitches being used to seal his injury. Then, Allen was diagnosed with the mumps in August of the same year. Due to the illness, Allen redshirted his freshman year.
The following 2017 season, Allen played in every game and recorded four receptions for 39 yards, made a significant impact blocking and was named by conference coaches to the All-Big 12 Second Team.
The injury bug hit Allen again in the 2018 season, which forced him to miss five of Iowa State’s 13 games, including a groin injury suffered in Iowa State’s fourth game against Akron.
Even though he only played eight games, Allen still improved upon his 2017 stat line with eight receptions for 84 yards.
Now a redshirt junior, Allen will be able to make an impact by run blocking and using his 6 feet, 7 inch height to create opportunities in the red zone and up the seam of the defense in the passing game.
With Allen out for part of last season, Kolar stepped in as a redshirt freshman and made the biggest impact of any tight end in the passing game.
Kolar was named to the All-Big 12 Second Team by the conferences' coaches after playing in all 13 games for the Cyclones and reeling in 11 receptions for 137 yards and three touchdowns.
At 6 feet, 6 inches tall and 252 pounds, Kolar has the size to bully secondary defenders in the running game and the quickness to create mismatches on linebackers in the passing game.
With both Kolar and Allen, the Cyclones should use a 12 personnel group, which consists of one running back and two tight ends or H-Backs, with both players as both have the size to hold their own in the run game and can expose defenses in the passing game.
Last season, Soehner finished the season as the No. 2 player on the depth chart at Iowa State’s “F” position behind the graduated Sam Seonbuchner.
The “F” position is a tight end which operates at the H-Back position — essentially a hybrid position between a traditional tight end and full back. In Iowa State’s offense, the primary function of the position is to block in both the running and passing game.
As the biggest player at tight end on Iowa State’s roster — at the same height as Chase Allen but weighing 270 pounds — Soehner has the size and experience to be the player atop the depth chart at the “F” position.
Soehner had one reception and four special teams tackles last season while being named by the team as the Jim Doran Outstanding Special Teams Player.
A true freshman, Loving-Black was a three-star recruit coming out of high school and held offers from Oregon State, Colorado, Nebraska and Arizona State before committing to Iowa State.
In his senior year, Loving-Black had 13 catches for 205 yards and seven touchdowns.
Loving-Black could make an early impact as a pass catcher at 6 feet, 3 inches tall, but due to the tight end's primary role in the offense as a blocker, Loving-Black will most likely redshirt and try to add weight to his 215-pound frame.
With Soehner as the de facto starter at the “F” or H-Back position, the Cyclones need to establish a solid backup at the position to stabilize the whole position group should Allen or another player miss time at tight end or H-Back.
Latusek is a walk-on redshirt sophomore and has the size similar to Sam Seonbuchner, who started at H-Back last season and graduated. Latusek and Seonbuchner are both 6 feet, 7 inches tall and around 245 pounds.
Last season, Latusek played defensive end before converting to tight end, and in high school he played on both sides of the ball on the line.
On offense at Dike-New Hartford in Iowa, Latusek was a member of a line which paved the way for the school’s all-time leader for rushing yards in a season.
With his background as an offensive lineman in high school, Latusek is a prime candidate to run away with No. 2 spot at H-Back and operate primarily as a run blocker.