Iowa football’s Sam LaPorta named Big Ten Tight End of the Year

The senior led the Hawkeyes with 601 receiving yards and 53 total receptions.


Jerod Ringwald

Iowa tight end Sam LaPorta runs after a reception during a football game between Iowa and Minnesota at Huntington Bank Stadium in Minneapolis on Saturday, Nov. 19, 2022. LaPorta caught four passes for 95 yards, but did not finish the game because of injury. The Hawkeyes defeated the Gophers, 13-10.

Chloe Peterson, Sports Editor

Iowa football senior Sam LaPorta is the Kwalick-Clark Big Ten Tight End of the Year, the conference announced Wednesday.

LaPorta, who missed Iowa’s last game of the regular season with an undisclosed injury, led the Hawkeyes with 601 receiving yards and 53 receptions. The 6-foot-4, 249-pounder was injured in the first quarter of Iowa’s game against Minnesota on Nov. 19 and has not played since.

LaPorta has been with the Hawkeyes since 2019 and totaled 148 receptions for 1,730 yards in his four-year career. He went through senior day festivities on Nov. 25, but he still has the option to return for a fifth year as all 2020-21 athletes received an extra season of eligibility because of COVID-19.

The Highland, Illinois product is also a finalist for the Mackey Award, given to the nation’s top tight end. 

True freshman running back Kaleb Johnson, sophomore offensive lineman Mason Richman, and sophomore tight end Luke Lachey also earned All-Big Ten honors on Wednesday.

Johnson, who led the Hawkeyes with 762 rushing yards on 142 attempts, earned an honorable mention from coaches and media. Johnson also led the Hawkeye offense with six touchdowns.

Richman, who started all 12 of the Hawkeyes’ games at left tackle, earned an honorable mention from coaches, while Lachey garnered the distinction from media. 

Lachey is third on the Hawkeye roster with 362 receiving yards this season — 3 yards short of second-place wide receiver Nico Ragaini. Lachey notched three touchdowns on the season as well.

The Hawkeyes also earned a bevy of defensive honors on Tuesday afternoon, headlined by senior Jack Campbell’s Defensive Player and Linebacker of the Year distinction.

RELATED: Iowa football’s Jack Campbell named Big Ten Defensive Player, Linebacker of the Year

Senior defensive back Kaevon Merriweather, who earned All-Big Ten honorable mention on Tuesday, was also named Iowa’s Sportsmanship Award recipient on Wednesday. Merriweather was a captain for all of the Hawkeyes’ 12 games this season.

Former Hawkeye Charlie Jones also garnered first-team All-Big Ten recognition from coaches and media on Wednesday. He ended the regular season with 97 catches for 1,199 receiving yards. Jones, who transferred to Purdue ahead of the 2022 season, will be playing in the Big Ten Championship Game and a bowl game to end his college career. He also accepted an invitation to the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama, to help prepare for the NFL Draft.

Facebook Comments