The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

Iowa football tight end Erick All embraces heavier load, acts as bright spot in Hawkeyes’ receiving game

Since arriving in Iowa City this past winter, All has made an immediate impression on teammates and coaches, not only just for using his athleticism at 6-foot-5, 250 pounds to make spectacular receptions but also for being one of the more lively characters in the locker room.
Iowa+tight+end+Erick+All+catches+the+ball+during+the+Iowa+homecoming+football+game+between+Iowa+and+Purdue+at+Kinnick+Stadium+in+Iowa+City+on+Saturday%2C+Oct.+7%2C+2023.+All+had+97+receiving+yards+and+one+touchdown.+The+Hawkeyes+defeated+the+Boilermakers%2C+20-14.
Cody Blissett
Iowa tight end Erick All catches the ball during the Iowa homecoming football game between Iowa and Purdue at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City on Saturday, Oct. 7, 2023. All had 97 receiving yards and one touchdown. The Hawkeyes defeated the Boilermakers, 20-14.

At every step of the way in Iowa tight end Erick All’s collegiate career, Cade McNamara has been there.

From starting their careers at Michigan together in 2019 to later being two key pieces in the Wolverines’ 2021 College Football Playoff run, the two developed a bond not many quarterback-receiver duos can imitate.

All followed McNamara to Iowa after the NCAA 2022 regular season as Michigan chose J.J. McCarthy and Colton Loveland to replace McNamara and Hall, respectively.

However, after McNamara’s season ended following a left ACL tear in the Hawkeyes’ Week 5 win against Michigan State, All will have to adjust to not seeing No. 12 in the backfield.

“As long as I have been in college, Cade has been the one throwing me the ball, [so] it’s kind of weird looking back and seeing Deacon [Hill] back there,” All said at the press conference following the Michigan State game.

Adjusting to life’s uncertainties is nothing new for All. Over the last 14 months, the 23-year-old received “life-changing” surgery, welcomed a baby boy named Houston, and visited schools across the country deciding where to play his remaining two years of eligibility.

Since arriving in Iowa City this past winter, All has made an immediate impression on teammates and coaches, not only for using his athleticism at 6-foot-5, 250 pounds to make spectacular receptions but also for being one of the more lively characters in the locker room.

Iowa tight ends coach Abdul Hodge said in the offseason that All is a great addition to the tight ends unit, and he’s a positive role model on and off the field.

“He has a really good personality that the guys take to on the field,” Hodge added.

For All’s parents Kelly and Erick Sr., seeing their son reach his current level of success was a long shot given Erick’s brush with death while he was a newborn.

“I don’t think Erick knows how close he was to dying,” Erick Sr. said.

On the morning of Feb. 13, 2001, All, at five months old, was asleep inside his playpen on the second floor of his Richmond, Indiana, home. Shortly after 8 a.m., a fire broke out a few doors down from where the infant was sleeping.

Within minutes, the Richmond fire department had arrived on the scene as the fire had strengthened and smoke was filling the room All was in. Eventually, firefighter Tom Broyles rescued Erick from his room, though whether the infant would survive was undetermined.

“Somebody, to be upstairs in a fire like that, is usually not a good outcome,” Richmond EMT Shawn Phenis, who was at the scene of the fire, said. “When they passed Erick to me, I thought he was dead.”

Phenis revived All using CPR, and the newborn spent a week sedated in the hospital as his airway was severely swollen from smoke inhalation.

To the surprise of many, All sustained no lasting lung or throat damage, which would come in handy as he excelled in sports.

“I never would have dreamed he would have this opportunity,” Erick said. “I don’t think Erik understands how close he was to dying.”

The Big Ten Network highlighted All’s story last September in a video story interviewing his family, and prior to Michigan’s 2022 football season opener, the then 21-year-old got to meet the men who saved his life.

In the Big Ten’s documentary, Phenis shared how he has a picture of a baby All in his hands from that morning in 2001.

“It hangs beside my bed, and I look at it every morning,” a teary-eyed Phenis said. “I have kids of my own, so it hits home.”

Stepping up in his role

After witnessing postseason success firsthand during his time at Michigan, All is determined to reach this level again as a Hawkeye.

He and McNamara decided to come to the UI because they had played against the Hawkeyes before.

“I know what they represent, which is tough, gritty football,” All said. “When I entered the transfer portal, I already knew that about them, and that’s what type of team that I was hoping to be on.”

The program’s reputation as a “tight end university” definitely played a factor in All’s decision, too, as 12 Iowa tight ends have been drafted in the NFL since Ferentz joined as head coach.

“They use their tight ends a lot too, which was another perk, and when I came for my visit, I thought it was the best environment and the best fit,” All said.

After starting tight end Luke Lachey’s injury last year, All has been expected to play a bigger role. He’s delivered thus far, leading the Hawkeyes in all major receiving categories.

During Iowa’s 20-14 victory against Purdue, All finished with 97 yards and a touchdown on five receptions, including a 33-yard jumping catch between two defenders.

Iowa wide receivers coach Kelton Copeland compared All’s work ethic to that of LaPorta’s, who was taken in the second round of the 2023 NFL Draft by the Detroit Lions.

“Erick is the real deal,” Copeland said. “He’s impressive in a lot of ways, and he’s doing a tremendous job.”

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About the Contributors
Cooper Worth, Pregame reporter
(he/him/his)
Cooper Worth is a Pregame Reporter for The Daily Iowan. He is a senior at the University of Iowa majoring in journalism and mass communication. He is also earning a minor in communication studies and an entrepreneurial management certificate. This is his third year at the DI, previously serving as a News Editor and as a News Reporter covering local government in Johnson County for the DI. Cooper interned for the Telegraph Herald in Dubuque, Iowa during the summer of 2023 as a general news reporter.
Cody Blissett, Visuals Editor
he/him/his
Cody Blissett is a visual editor at The Daily Iowan. He is a third year student at the University of Iowa studying cinema and screenwriting. This is his first year working for The Daily Iowan.