Iowa tight end Brad Herman is willing to take on a nickname for his senior season.
But “The Herman-ator” is not allowed.
“I heard that name in high school,” Herman said. “And now it’s just the other tight ends give me a little bit of crap for it.”
Herman is going to need some kind of designation now that he’s TE1, a position he has waited to take over with the Hawkeyes.
“You know, finally,” Herman said. “I’ve played behind two, soon to be three, pro tight ends.
“I’m just grateful that I’ve put myself in position to be the number one tight end.”
The last three Iowa tight ends include Tony Moeaki, now with the Kansas City Chiefs, and Brandon Myers, now an Oakland Raider.
Allen Reisner had 42 catches for 460 yards last season for the Hawkeyes and is expected to be playing on Sundays soon, too.
“I think it’s expected out of an Iowa tight end,” Herman said of moving on to the NFL. “It’s a tradition. Iowa does such a good job; the coaches do such a good job, of developing tight ends.
“I’m fortunate and I’m lucky to be in the position that I’m in. I’m going to take full advantage of the opportunity, and we’ll see what the future holds.”
Can Herman be another future NFL tight end in the making? The 6-foot-5, 247-pound senior had nine catches for 154 yards last season and more importantly, showed he can do a little pushing at the line of scrimmage as well.
“When you’re an Iowa tight end, you’ve got to block,” Herman said. “This isn’t the Big 12 where you just go out and use the slot and pick on little DBs and catch passes. You’ve got to come here and block.”
Herman said it is fair to say that the part of his game that needed the most work when he came to Iowa as blocking.
“There’s a reason Tony is making millions of dollars in the NFL right now, it’s because he was a freak,” Herman said. “For us less fortunate people, I’d say that blocking is … probably the last hurdle.
“I credit that to going up every day against an all-American defensive end. If I could block Adrian (Clayborn), I knew I could block anybody in the country. He was the best. To go against that kind of competition every day was kind of a blessing in disguise.”
Former quarterback Ricky Stanzi’s top two targets were receivers, but the tight end always got plenty of attention when he was running the offense.
“(The quarterbacks) always say we don’t get the ball in practice, but when it comes in crunch time, we always get the ball,” Herman said.
Herman said he’s trying early and often to develop a rapport with new quarterback junior James Vandenberg.
“I would like to be Vandenberg’s number one guy; obviously who wouldn’t?” Herman said. “It’s a trust factor that you have to have with your quarterback. You have to go out there with confidence that if he calls a play, you just know he’s going to give you the rock.”
Backing up Herman on the spring depth chart is 6-foot-7, 265-pound sophomore C.J. Fiedorowicz, who arrived at Iowa as one of the top tight end recruits in the country.
“Obviously coach (Eric) Johnson will say that the No. 1 spots is open, which it is,” Herman said. “Me and Reisner were in a similar position last year. There was some good competition, healthy competition, but its not like we’re trying to take each other out.”
“Me being an older tight end and having experience, I can help bring along C.J., Zack Derby, and really develop those guys, and our offense will be better in the fall.”
Category: Iowa Hawkeyes Football