March 25, 2010
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Editor’s Note: The following first appears in the University of Iowa’s Official Sports Report, a free e-newsletter delivered daily to fans of the Hawkeyes. To learn more about the Hawkeyes’ OSR, click HERE.
IOWA CITY, Iowa — While former University of Iowa tight end Tony Moeaki is preparing for a career in the National Football League, Hawkeye senior Allen Reisner is left as the veteran of the current group of tight ends.
Reisner and the Hawkeyes completed their first of 15 spring practices Tuesday and even though the session was met with a chilly Iowa drizzle, it didn’t dampen Reisner’s spirits.
“It’s fun. It feels like we were just in Miami last week,” Reisner said. “It’s gone fast. Three years have gone by and we’re getting ready for a new year.”
Reisner is also getting ready for a new role: team leader.
“My experience is a huge factor,” Reisner said. “I have to bring that with me and I have to be a leader and help the rest of the tight ends out. It helps when a player can be a coach, too.”
In 13 games last season, Reisner caught 14 passes for 143 yards and a 7-yard touchdown from quarterback Ricky Stanzi at Iowa State, giving the Hawkeyes a 21-3 lead. During his first two seasons, he hauled in 13 passes for 231 yards and a score.
With Moeaki’s departure, Reisner is the most seasoned of all the remaining tight ends. At a press conference yesterday, UI head coach Kirk Ferentz said that developing depth at that position is a focal point.
“You look at our tight ends, we feel really good about Allen Reisner,” Ferentz said. “He played extremely well when Tony was out last year for that prolonged period. But after that, we have a lot of question marks there, so I think that position is in competition right now.”
Reisner, from Marion, Iowa, is 6-foot-3, 248 pounds. He is listed as the starter on the UI spring two-deep roster. The backup is junior Brad Herman from Metamora, Ill. Herman caught one pass for eight yards last season.
Entering spring drills as the top tight end in camp is nothing new to Reisner. Because of an injury to Moeaki, he took most of the repetitions last March and April as well.
“You look at our tight ends, we feel really good about Allen Reisner. He played extremely well when Tony (Moeaki) was out last year for that prolonged period. But after that, we have a lot of question marks there, so I think that position is in competition right now.”
“I’m in the same position as I was last season, but it’s a little different now that I’m one of the older and more-experienced tight ends,” Reisner said. “I came in with the same mentality, because I knew if Tony got injured again, then I would have to step up, so I’m coming into this spring with the same mentality.”
The Hawkeyes began spring practice yesterday and will return to the Kenyon Practice Facility this afternoon. For Reisner, spring ball is time to go back to the basics.
“I like to correct my fundamentals and get back in the groove of everything,” Reisner said. “It’s time to start over and get better and better.”
Reisner is one of six three-year offensive letterwinners listed on the Hawkeye spring depth chart. The others are split ends Derrell Johnson-Koulianos and Colin Sandeman, left guard Julian Vandervelde, fullback Brett Morse and kicker Daniel Murray.
During his career, Reisner has played alongside all-Big Ten Conference tight ends Brandon Myers (now with the Oakland Raiders of the NFL) and Moeaki (a 2009 John Mackey Award semifinalist). It wouldn’t be a surprise if Reisner becomes the third straight UI tight end to earn all-conference accolades.
But Reisner isn’t thinking about that right now. For him, there are still 14 spring practices to get better and better.