IOWA CITY, Ia. – Dutifully, Iowa tight end C.J. Fiedorowicz shows up each Tuesday for the weekly Q/A with reporters – predictably answering the same question.
After so much preseason hype, why so little production?
Without pause, he responds that his day will come, and then reporters head off to someone else.
So what’s wrong with C.J. Fiedorowicz’ statistics? Why just 10 catches for 109 yards?
“Nothing,” quarterback James Vandenberg said. “Just wait.”
If anything heading into Saturday’s 11 a.m. home game against Central Michigan, Fiedorowicz’ all-world expectation was a product of pre-season buildup, especially after new offensive coordinator Greg Davis said:
“This is only 39 springs I’ve been in (coaching), and I’ve never had a tight end like C.J. – with his size and ability to play the line of scrimmage and also stretch the line of scrimmage. He’s encouraging.”
This just in: Fiedorowicz has the third-most catches among Big Ten Conference tight ends heading into the fourth week of the season.
This also just in: Only one Hawkeye tight end during the previous five seasons had more catches after the first three games than Fiedorowicz – Tony Moeaki, with 14 in 2007 and 11 in 2009.
In his case, perception and reality are on opposite sides of the field.
“I just haven’t been getting the ball as much as people were thinking, but that’s fine,” Fiedorowicz said this week. “We had how much offense last week, 400 yards?
“It’s not that big a deal. You never know what’s going to happen.”
The 6-foot-7, 265-pound junior stoked his own public relations fire by combining for 10 catches, 95 yards and two touchdowns in last season’s final three games.
That production – against Purdue, Nebraska and Oklahoma – earned Fiedorowicz a spot among legitimate candidates for the John Mackey Award that goes to college football’s top tight end.
That mention immediately had some people talking about Fiedorowicz becoming the Hawkeyes’ next great tight end, some even mentioning him in the same conversation as the New England Patriots’ Rob Gronkowski.
“I’ve read a lot of articles, and people are quick to compare guys to guys,” Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz said. “My preference is to let things unfold. . .allow players to have their careers, and allow them to have their ups and downs, because they happen.”
Some people even wonder if Fiedorowicz will skip his senior season, opting instead for the NFL draft.
“The speculation of him being drafted this year – that’s probably premature,” Ferentz said. “Let’s let him really have a great year this year, which I hope he does, and I think he’s on the right track.
“And then we’ll see where we’re at at the end of the year.”
Top Five Big Ten Tight Ends
— Dion Sims of Michigan State has 16 receptions for 165 yards and one touchdown.
— Kyle Carter of Penn State has 11 receptions for 120 yards and one touchdown.
— C.J. Fiedorowicz of Iowa has 10 receptions for 109 yards.
— Ted Bolser of Indiana has nine receptions for 107 yards.
— Kyler Reed, Nebraska 8 107 1
Note: Ranked according to total receptions in the first three games.
Category: Iowa Hawkeyes Football