No. 9 — TE Brad Herman
I’ve written a few times on Kirk Ferentz’s search for a No. 2 (and 3) tight end.
Here, right after the spring scrimmage, the discussion centered on true freshman C.J. Fiedorowicz’s chances to contribute. Herman had a good scrimmage, though, catching three passes for 29 yards.
It’s definitely on Ferentz’s mind. Iowa likes to have three game-ready TEs. Assistant coach Eric Johnson was with linebackers last fall. He was moved to TEs, a position he once held, early this winter. It’s a forethought for Ferentz.
Anything on Herman specifically?
I thought he’d be a breakout guy as a sophomore last season, but then Tony Moeaki’s injuries halted after week 3 and Iowa used him as much as they could in the passing game.
So, Herman, a 6-5, 247-pound junior, enters this season with one career catch.
I wrote about him here going into last spring.
“He’s got a long way to go,” (offensive coordinator Ken) O’Keefe said. “He’s beginning to understand what we’re after. For a freshman (now a sophomore), especially at the tight end position, because you’ve got to know the running and passing games better than anyone, he’s been able to put it together a lot quicker than a lot of guys could, but he still has a way to go.”
Iowa does have six, maybe seven, scholarship tight ends next fall, but Herman should have the inside track to No. 2. He might have to fight off incoming freshman C.J. Fiedorowicz in passing situations, but that remains to be seen.
My one snapshot of Herman from last season is trying to block Arkansas State defensive end Alex Carrington. That was a tough matchup, a true sophomore against a veteran DE who was drafted in the third round by the Buffalo Bills.
This season is set up for Herman to take the next step — solid blocker, dependable pass catcher, noticeable contributor.
Strides still need to be made, but if the natural progression is there, this should work.
Herman is a junior, but he probably should be a third-year sophomore. He deserves credit for jumping in during the 2008 season, when Moeaki was in and mostly out of the lineup with multiple injuries.
He’s put in the work. From the 2009 spring story I wrote:
When he was a freshman at Metamora, Herman checked in at 6-1, 150 pounds. His sophomore season he was 6-3, 180. Now, he’s 6-5, 242.
“He was always a model weightroom guy,” coach Pat Ryan said. “He really bought into it from day one and saw the results. That attitude made him a confident athlete. He made a big jump going from Illinois 5A to the Big Ten, but that attitude has obviously helped him.”