Wieting ready for expanded role entering senior season

After losing Noah Fant and T.J. Hockenson to the NFL, Iowa has Nate Wieting to turn to at the tight end position.

Iowa+tight+end+Nate+Wieting+poses+for+a+portrait+at+Iowa+Football+Media+Day+on+Friday%2C+August+9%2C+2019.+%28Shivansh+Ahuja%2FThe+Daily+Iowan%29
Back to Article
Back to Article

Wieting ready for expanded role entering senior season

Iowa tight end Nate Wieting poses for a portrait at Iowa Football Media Day on Friday, August 9, 2019. (Shivansh Ahuja/The Daily Iowan)

Iowa tight end Nate Wieting poses for a portrait at Iowa Football Media Day on Friday, August 9, 2019. (Shivansh Ahuja/The Daily Iowan)

Shivansh Ahuja

Iowa tight end Nate Wieting poses for a portrait at Iowa Football Media Day on Friday, August 9, 2019. (Shivansh Ahuja/The Daily Iowan)

Shivansh Ahuja

Shivansh Ahuja

Iowa tight end Nate Wieting poses for a portrait at Iowa Football Media Day on Friday, August 9, 2019. (Shivansh Ahuja/The Daily Iowan)

Robert Read, Sports Reporter

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






The Iowa football program lost two of the best tight ends in college football last season to the NFL after Noah Fant and Mackey Award winner T.J. Hockenson declared for the draft.

With the production those two all-conference tight ends accounted for last season now gone, Nate Wieting is prepared to take charge at his position to be a reliable receiving target for quarterback Nate Stanley.

Wieting, now entering his senior season, is no stranger to being on the Kinnick turf on Saturdays, but now he will do so with a different role.

“He may not technically be a returning starter, but he certainly has seen a lot of action for us,” offensive coordinator Brian Ferentz said. “What he lacks is the production in numbers, but really the opportunities haven’t been there for him. When you look at who he was behind on the depth chart last year, he played a lot, but he certainly wasn’t featured a lot as a receiver. The two guys who were are both playing in NFL camps right now.”

Despite only having 3 career receptions, Wieting was one of the 60 tight ends across college football named to the Mackey Award Preseason Watch List. The award goes to the best tight end in the country, and to get to that point, Wieting is just trying to do the little things right.

“I try to develop my whole game each and every day,” he said. “The attention to detail in the passing game, the attention to detail in run blocking, where your elbow placement is where your hand placement is. Just really mastering those fundamentals. Just transferring those individual aspects into the team game.”

Spending so much time with two first-round draft picks has its advantages, and as he tries to master his craft, Wieting uses some of the things he picked up from Fant and Hockenson.

“There were a lot of discussions going back and forth with those guys,” Wieting said.” What did you see here, what coverage were you looking for here, how’s the cornerback playing with leverage. Looking for the linebackers personnel-wise, do they like playing underneath routes or do they stay high?”

Wieting also picked up some blocking tips from Hockenson, who may be one of the most qualified at his position to give advice on the subject.

Hockenson frustrated defensive backs and linebackers conference-wide with his blocking prowess and near-flawless technique. It’s Wieting’s turn to make those blocks now.

“T.J. did a really good job of using his hands in the running game,” Wieting said. “He always set his hands inside. As a defender, they are trying to steer across your face. T.J. taught me a lot about if you can steer into that defender, you can keep some pressure on him, and hopefully, you can sustain the block a little longer.”

Being used as a receiver will also be a key part of Wieting’s role in the Iowa offense this year.

Tight end has long been an important part of the Iowa offense, and last season was not an exception. Fant and Hockenson accounted for 1,279 receiving yards, and while reaching the production level of those two players is a lot to ask for, Stanley is confident throwing the ball Wieting’s way will help make up some of that lost production.

“He’s very detailed in everything that he does,” Stanley said. “If he says he’s going to do something, or if something is said by the coaches — like putting a little nuance on a route against a certain coverage — he’s going to take it and internalize it, and he’s going to do it the next time. He’s got a lot of experience, and I know he’s going to be where he needs to be.”