IOWA CITY — Allen Reisner has doubled up on his studies since his sophomore year of college, which makes this semester — and this month — among the most hectic in his life.
Reisner, a 22-year-old college senior, played football at Iowa for four years and worked just as hard in the classroom without the benefit of an extra semester. He’s on track to graduate in two weeks, and the Marion native is only days from potentially knowing his future employer in this week’s NFL draft.
“I’ve taken two years of summer schooling to try to catch up,” Reisner said. “I’ve been really excited to just get done. Hopefully this weekend we’ll see what my future holds for me.”
Reisner started all 13 games at tight end last year for Iowa, catching 42 passes for 460 yards and two touchdowns. Those numbers exceeded his lifetime totals entering his senior campaign of 27 catches, 374 yards, two touchdowns and three starts.
Among tight ends he’s got decent size at 6-foot-2 and 248 pounds. But Reisner’s 40-yard dash time of 4.97 seconds at the NFL Scouting Combine has kept him from moving up the tight end charts.
“He didn’t run well, but he had an excellent senior year,” said Dan Shonka, general manager and national scout for Our Lads Scouting Services. “If he can go to a team that will put him on the practice squad, that would be the best thing that could happen to him. I really think he’s got a lot of talent. He’s got excellent hands and I tell you what, he’s a scrappy blocker.”
In 2007, after the team suffered multiple injuries at tight end, Reisner played as a raw true freshman in Iowa’s final eight games. Iowa Coach Kirk Ferentz jokingly to the move as “child abuse” in hindsight.
“If I would have been red-shirted my freshman year that would have been fine,” Reisner said. “I just took it and rolled with it. I’m just happy with the situation I’m in.”
Shonka said another season in college could have helped Reisner’s draft stock. Reisner is slated as a late-round selection or priority free agent.
“He popped right in there; that’s great,” Shonka said. “He got to play and that’s fun, but he really needed a red-shirt year.”
Reisner does have plenty of positives. He spent four years in Iowa’s zone-blocking scheme that translates to nearly all pro systems. He has lined up at multiple spots on the field, including H-back and fullback, while maintaining tight end duties.
“I’m pretty versatile, and I’ve done that my four years here at Iowa,” Reisner said. “I can play on the line or split out or motion from the backfield. I can pretty much do it all.”
Reisner plans to sit with friends and family this weekend but doubts he’ll spend a lot of time glued to the television to see when his named is called.“They’ll call me, if they have interest in me,” he said. “I’ll probably mind take my mind off it. It’s a pretty stressful time right now.”