Becoming a household name?

Sept. 4, 2010

By RICHIE ZAWISTOWSKI

IOWA CITY, Iowa — Coming into Saturday’s game against Eastern Illinois with one career reception, University of Iowa tight end Brad Herman might have been unknown to some fans.

After making several plays during Saturday’s 37-7 win by the Hawkeyes, fans will get to know Herman a bit more this season.

Herman tripled his career reception total in the first-half alone, as the junior tight end from Metamora, Ill., had three receptions for 57 yards that helped Iowa jump to a 28-7 halftime lead. On the fifth play of the game quarterback Ricky Stanzi connected with Herman, and the tight end rumbled down the field all the way to the 2-yard-line, good for a 35-yard gain. Running back Adam Robinson scored on the next play.

“It was a seam route and the linebackers bit hard on the play action,” said Herman. “I looked immediately for the ball and Stanzi threw a perfect pass right on the line. I’ve just got to house that next time.”

Did you expect to score?

“I thought so,” said Herman. “The end zone was just so far away, I was trying as hard as I could, but I fell just a little short; I’ll get it next time.”

With senior Allen Reisner ahead of him on the depth chart, Herman will have to make the most of the opportunities he is given. With Iowa known for using its tight ends, Herman will see plenty of action in 2010.

“When your number is called, you’ve got to be ready,” said Herman. “The coaches gave me an opportunity and I think I stepped up and did my job. They always talk about “just do your job” and that’s what I really tried to focus on today is not worrying about outside things, just worrying about getting my block on a player, or making that catch when it’s open.”

“When your number is called, you’ve got to be ready. The coaches gave me an opportunity and I think I stepped up and did my job.”
UI junior tight end
Brad Herman

While receptions are what may make the highlights, much more is expected out of tight ends in Iowa’s system.

“To be an Iowa tight end, you have to block,” said Herman. “It’s not just `go out there and catch.’ I figured I could go out there and they could use me catching early on, but it was my blocking that held me back the previous two seasons. Once I accepted that and learned how to block, and really focused on blocking, it frees me up in the pass game too.”

Iowa has a rich history of tight ends with Dallas Clark, Scott Chandler, Brandon Myers, and Tony Moeaki all being drafted into the NFL recently. Herman said Moeaki helped him learn how to block.

Iowa vs. Eastern Illinois 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
Iowa Hawkeyes 21 7 2 7 37
Eastern Illinois 0 7 0 0 7
Iowa Statistical Leaders
Passing: Ricky Stanzi 18 of 23, 229 yards, 1 touchdown
Rushing: Adam Robinson 24 carries, 109 yards, 3 touchdowns
Receiving: Colin Sandeman 4 catches, 59 yards

“Blocking is a lot of a mentality,” said Herman. “What I picked up from Tony was his steps weren’t always on target or on point, but he was determined that no matter who goes out there in front of me, I’m going to kick that guys butt, and that’s the mentality I’m trying to take this year.”

Herman also plays the nose-guard position on the punt team, and used his “kick butt” mentality to get a hand on a punt — one of two blocked punts for Iowa on the day.

“I had two fingers on it,” said Herman, “But I didn’t close my hand all the way; if I had closed my hands I probably would have got it — lesson learned and we’ll try to get one next week.”

For a player who didn’t see much action in 2009 and tripled his career receptions in one half of the season-opener, life must be good after Saturday’s game. Herman said he is not content and will continue to get better.

“I haven’t got quite that much playing time yet,” said Herman. “I got a little bit at Arizona last year, but to start off with a pretty decent game like I did feels good. I can improve on a ton of things too. I’m not happy with where I’m at. I’ve got to strive, I’ve got to keep getting better and I’ve got to keep pushing myself.”