Iowa State Cyclones

Tight ends continue to make big plays for Iowa State football

Charlie Kolar wants a shot at the next trick play

Iowa State tight end Charlie Kolar (88) catches a pass between Oklahoma linebacker DaShaun White (23) and defensive back
Iowa State tight end Charlie Kolar (88) catches a pass between Oklahoma linebacker DaShaun White (23) and defensive back Brendan Radley-Hiles (44) during the first half an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Oct. 3, 2020, in Ames, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

AMES — Tight end Charlie Kolar drew the short straw last Saturday in Iowa State’s win over Oklahoma.

The Cyclones planned on throwing a tight end-to-tight end pass and Kolar wasn’t going to be part of it. He was going to stay in and block.

Instead, Dylan Soehner, a former high school quarterback, threw to Chase Allen. Allen hauled it in for a 28-yard gain.

Kolar wants to be a part of the action next time.

“That’s going to be our first play next week,” Kolar said. “We’re going to throw it out to me and then I’m going to throw it to Dylan — don’t tell Texas Tech. No, I’m just kidding.

“We had a discussion and I got the short end of the stick and I didn’t get to participate in that play so I’m out for blood to get the next one. But obviously it was pretty special to see a tight end throw to a tight end.”

Coach Matt Campbell said after the game the 6-foot-7, 270-pound Soehner claims to have the strongest arm on the team — including quarterbacks. Campbell also noted Soehner underthrew the ball to Allen.

Iowa State’s tight ends have come a long way since Campbell arrived. There were no scholarship tight ends on the roster at that time.

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Now, they’re playing in three tight end sets where the primary one stayed in to block so the other two could complete a pass play to each other.

“When we got here, Iowa State played in 10 personnel most of the game and tight ends were barely used,” Kolar said. “To see the development of the position, starting with guys like Sam Harms and Sam Seonbuchner, who laid the groundwork for the position to be where it is today — it’s something beautiful.

“Small plays like that mean so much to us. I’m joking that I didn’t get to be a part of it because Dylan does everything for this team and rarely gets any credit. To see him make a play like that was incredible because he’s the unsung hero of our room and the offense and special teams. I was so happy for him and Chase to make that play.”

While Kolar didn’t get to participate in the fun part of that play, quarterback Brock Purdy makes sure Kolar gets the ball with regularity.

When a play breaks down, or Purdy needs somewhere to throw the ball, chances are it’s going to Kolar.

“For a quarterback, when all of your receivers are brand new in brand-new spots, I think Charlie was really big for Brock to just steady the ship,” Campbell said. “Now, you’re seeing some of those receivers start to home in on their position. But to start a season, it’s really important to have guys like that (Kolar) — especially a shortened season like we’re having where you didn’t have spring ball or fall camp and didn’t have all summer.”

Kolar missed the first game because he was still recovering from an offseason sports hernia surgery. But in the two games he’s been back, he’s been Purdy’s favorite target, catching nine passes for 93 yards.

“I know Brock likes to give me a chance and I just try to do my best where I get to a spot to give him an option and if it does come to me, I can make a play on it,” Kolar said. “I just do my best to make Brock feel comfortable and give him a good look.”

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