Hawk Item – – One of eight true freshmen to see action in 2019 . . . earned Dean’s List recognition spring, 2020.
2020 Honors – – Fourth-team All-Big Ten by Phil Steele . . . honorable mention All-Big Ten by league coaches and media . . . John Mackey Award preseason Watch List . . . preseason fourth-team All-Big Ten by Athlon Sports . . . 2020 – – Saw action in all eight games, with five starts . . . led team with 27 receptions and ranked second in receiving yards (271), with one touchdown . . . one of two tight ends in the starting line-up in 24-20 loss at Purdue . . . five receptions for career-high 71 yards at Purdue, with a long of 20 yards . . . started at tight end in 21-20 loss to Northwestern . . . tied career-best with six receptions vs. Northwestern, totaling 46 yards, with a long of 11 yards . . . started at tight end in 49-7 win over Michigan State as offense rushed for 226 yards and gained 405 yards total offense . . . two receptions for 11 yards vs. MSU . . . saw action in 35-7 win at Minnesota as offense rushed for 235 yards . . . one reception for five yards at Minnesota . . . one of two tight ends in the starting line-up in 41-21 win at Penn State as offense gained 175 net rushing offense . . . three receptions for 32 yards at PSU, with a long of 16 yards . . . one of two tight ends in the starting line-up in 26-20 win over Nebraska . . . led receivers with five receptions for 38 yards vs. Nebraska, along with recording one solo tackle . . . saw action in 35-21 win at Illinois as offense gained 242 yards total offense . . . four receptions for 57 yards and a touchdown at Illinois . . . first career touchdown came on 22-yard reception at Illinois . . . saw action in 28-7 win over #25 Wisconsin, recording one reception for 11 yards.
2019 – – Saw action 12 games with two starts, missing one game due to injury . . . collected 15 receptions for 188 yards . . . saw action in 38-14 win over Miami, but had no statistics as offense gained 213 net rushing yards and 465 yards total offense . . . saw action in 30-0 win over Rutgers, but had no statistics as offense gianed 438 yards total offense . . . saw action in 18-17 win at Iowa State, but had no statistics . . . saw action in 48-3 win over Middle Tennessee, but had no statistics as offense gained 644 yards total offense . . . did not see action in 10-3 loss at #18 Michigan . . . saw action in 17-12 loss to #9 Penn State, but had no statistics . . . saw action in 26-20 win over Purdue, but had no statistics . . . saw action in 20-0 win at Northwestern . . . first receptions of his career with two receptions for 43 yards at Northwestern, including a long of 41 yards . . . one of three tight ends in the starting line-up in 24-22 loss at #16 Wisconsin . . . one reception for 16 yards at Wisconsin . . . saw action in 23-19 win over #7 Minnesota . . . one reception for 12 yards vs. Minnesota for a key first down . . . saw action in 19-10 win over Illinois as offense gained 387 yards total offense . . . two receptions for 36 yards vs. Illinois, with a long of 22 yards . . . saw action in 27-24 win at Nebraska . . . career-high three receptions for 37 yards at Nebraska . . . 22-yard reception in final seconds led to game-winning field goal with one second remaining . . . one of three tight ends in the starting line-up in 49-24 Holiday Bowl win over #22 USC . . . career-best six receptions for 44 yards vs. USC, with a long of 14 yards.
High school honors – – Earned first-team all-state honors on offense as a junior and senior . . . all-area defensive back as a junior and senior . . . first-team all-conference on defense as a sophomore and also all-area on offense . . . honorable mention all-conference as a receiver as a freshman . . . Career – – Four-year football letterman as wide receiver and defensive back . . . helped prep team post four-year record of 40-6, including just two losses in final two seasons combined . . . prep team reached state semifinals as a junior . . . ranks second in Illinois high school history in receiving touchdowns (50) and third in receiving yards (3,793) . . . recorded 68 receptions for 1,457 yards and 19 touchdowns as a senior, along with 53 tackles and seven interceptions on defense . . . as a junior recorded 67 receptions for 1,387 yards and 20 touchdowns, while also collecting seven interceptions . . . three-year team captain . . . also earned four letters in basketball and two in track.
Personal – – Born 1/12/2001 . . . business major . . . member of National Honor Society . . . earned Academic All-State recognition three years . . . parents are Staci and Joseph LaPorta . . . high school coach was Jimmy Warnecke.