Iowa State Cyclones

Iowa State tight ends have grown in Matt Campbell's tenure

Tight ends like Sam Seonbuchner continue to have more of an impact

Iowa State tight end Sam Seonbuchner runs in a touchdown past Kansas State defensive back Kendall Adams at Jack Trice Stadium in Ames on Saturday, Nov. 24, 2018. (Matthew Putney/Freelance)
Iowa State tight end Sam Seonbuchner runs in a touchdown past Kansas State defensive back Kendall Adams at Jack Trice Stadium in Ames on Saturday, Nov. 24, 2018. (Matthew Putney/Freelance)
/

AMES — The tight end position has been in a state of disarray since Matt Campbell arrived in Ames.

When Campbell first took over as the Iowa State football coach after the 2015 season, he had zero scholarship tight ends.

Before this season, an Iowa State tight end hadn’t caught a touchdown pass since E.J. Bibbs in 2014.

Now, two tight ends have combined for four touchdowns.

Campbell has four solid options at the tight end position, each contributing in their own way.

“I can’t say enough about that tight end room — all four of those guys,” Campbell said. “You could make an argument that Dylan Soehner is our best special teams player. He’s starting on all four units and he’s been incredible and continues to do some really positive things at tight end.

“Obviously with Charlie Kolar and the breakout year that he’s had, I thought he was phenomenal again on Saturday. He made some huge plays. Chase (Allen) started off the season maybe as good as any tight end I’ve seen play in those first two games and then gets dinged up and fights his way back and has some huge plays in the game last Saturday, too. Then obviously what Sam (Seonbuchner) has done. Sam has been such a key figure to our offense, really since we’ve gotten here.”

After the Texas Tech game, Kolar had four receptions and three touchdowns.

“We always joke about that, we call him ‘Touchdown Chuck,’” Seonbuchner said. “Every time he touches it, he scores.”

His touchdown rate has dropped, but he’s still productive. He has 10 receptions and 134 yards with three touchdowns.

But in the last couple of games, he’s been tackled just short of the end zone.

“Hopefully he can pick his feet up next time and score,” Seonbuchner said.

ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW ADVERTISEMENT

Speaking of touchdowns, Seonbuchner, a senior, caught his first career touchdown against Kansas State to cut the Wildcats’ lead to 38-28 in a 42-38 win.

Seonbuchner said he has the best hands on the team.

“I don’t know (about that),” receiver Hakeem Butler said with a laugh.

But Seonbuchner said catching the touchdown pass wasn’t his favorite feeling. He enjoyed it, no doubt, but there is a better feeling in his mind.

Seonbuchner, a converted linebacker, is a tight end/fullback combination. He’s often used to lead block for running back David Montgomery.

“I take the most pride in blocking for the running backs and the quarterbacks,” Seonbuchner said. “It feels better when I lead block David’s touchdowns than when I scored my own touchdown. That says a lot about this team because that’s how everyone is.

“Everyone wants everyone else to be successful. When a team is like that, you’re going to see success.”

Kolar is a second-team All-Big 12 selection and Seonbuchner received honorable mention. Last season, Allen was a second-team All-Big 12 selection.

Allen got hurt in the Oklahoma game, missing most of the season, but he still recorded seven receptions for 56 yards.

“We’ve come a long way from no scholarship tight ends to into our third year and that group not only playing but playing at a really high rate,” Campbell said. “A lot of credit to (tight ends) coach (Alex) Golesh and a lot of credit to those guys and the ownership that they’ve taken building that room.

ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW ADVERTISEMENT

Thank you for signing up for our e-newsletter!

You should start receiving the e-newsletters within a couple days.

“We recruited those guys knowing they needed to build equity into that room. They’ve taken it and run with it and have done a great job with it.”

l Comments: benv43@gmail.com

Give us feedback

We value your trust and work hard to provide fair, accurate coverage. If you have found an error or omission in our reporting, tell us here.

Or if you have a story idea we should look into? Tell us here.

CONTINUE READING

Give us feedback

We value your trust and work hard to provide fair, accurate coverage. If you have found an error or omission in our reporting, tell us here.

Or if you have a story idea we should look into? Tell us here.