Noah Fant


Ben Allan Smith

Iowa tight end Noah Fant (87) catches a touchdown pass during the New Era Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium in New York on Wednesday, Dec. 27. The Hawkeyes went on to win 27-20. (

Jack McFarland, Sports Reporter

As the 2018 college football season approaches for the Hawkeyes, many fans are wondering which receiver or tight end is going to take the next step from last season and lead the team in receiving yards.

The Hawkeyes’ aerial attack last year amassed 2,473 yards, but about one-third of those yards were earned by graduating seniors such as Matt VandeBerg and Akrum Wadley. The loss of both is costly across many aspects of the team, but the Hawkeyes do return key wide receiver Nick Easley, who led the team with 51 receptions for 530 yards and finished second on the team with 4 touchdowns.

But like all Big Ten football, the winner will play a factor into every team’s passing game.

Running the ball opens up play-action passes and roll-out plays in which Noah Fant will thrive and be this season’s team leader in receiving yards and touchdowns.

Iowa’s old-school, ground-and-pound rushing attack wears down even the toughest and strongest interior defenses.

Its using the play-action passing game and run-pass options will open up the middle of the field, where Fant will excel and continue to build on his exceptional sophomore campaign.

Fant is an asserted college football star, already being named an AP first-team preseason All-American and leading all tight ends in the entire NCAA last year with 11 touchdowns. If Fant and the team progress as they should, expect an exciting season in the confines of Kinnick.