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Bulked-up C.J. Fiedorowicz ready to lead

[ 0 ] August 9, 2013 |
C.J. Fiedorowicz poses during media day on Thursday, August 8, 2013. Benjamin Roberts / HawkCentral.com

C.J. Fiedorowicz poses during media day on Thursday, August 8, 2013. Benjamin Roberts / HawkCentral.com

C.J. Fiedorowicz came to Iowa City at 240 pounds, relatively small for his 6-7 frame. Now he’s up to 265 pounds and ready for his senior season.

“Anytime you’re lifting five days a week for four years, you’re gonna bulk up a little bit,” Fiedorowicz said. “It’s been a long four years with the strength and conditioning program but I enjoyed every minute of it.”

The tight end is ready to put last season’s disappointing finish, a 4-8 record, behind him and is focusing on Iowa’s Aug. 31 season opener against Northern Illinois.

“Four and eight is not the ideal season that anyone wants to have,” he said, “but we have a lot of senior leadership going and we’re looking good offensively and defensively.”

Leadership was a theme throughout Iowa football media day Thursday. The Hawkeyes return 15 seniors this season, 11 of whom were listed as starters on the spring depth chart.

“Being a senior, you have to be a leader, it just comes with being a senior,” Fiedorowicz said. “I just have to come out here, have fun, do my job, make plays and just enjoy football.”

Fiedorowicz was bombarded with questions about what is perhaps Iowa’s biggest question mark entering season: Who will be taking snaps?

“I knew I was going to get that question,” he said. “They look good. They’re all throwing the ball well. It’s still early. We just threw on pads so it’s hard to say (who the starter will be).

“We’ve got three weeks of camp so we’re not making any predictions yet. They all bring their own thing and they’re all excited to be out here. They’re all fun quarterbacks and bring energy to practice.”

Offensive coordinator Greg Davis, who is entering his second season with the Hawkeyes, said he’s looking forward to working with Fiedorowicz for one more year.

“His strength (is his best asset),” Davis said. “For a guy his size, he can play well at the line of scrimmage. He also has really good hands.”

Fiedorowicz, a leisure studies major, was one of nine true freshmen to see action in 2010. As a sophomore, Fiedorowicz racked up 167 yards on 16 receptions including three touchdowns. Last season, Fiedorowicz had 433 yards on 45 receptions and one touchdown. Even though he only caught one touchdown pass, he had more receptions than Dallas Clark (43) did during the 2002 season in which Clark won the John Mackey Award as the nation’s top tight end.

Fiedorowicz was named to the Mackey Award watch list for the upcoming season and is currently on an 18-game streak of having at least one reception. Davis said he thinks the NFL is within reach for Fiedorowicz if he can remain consistent.

“I think (he needs to be) consistently blocking at the line of scrimmage and consistently running the routes,” Davis said.

For Fiedorowicz, it seems surreal that his collegiate career is almost over.

“I remember my first day on campus like it was yesterday,” he said. “I remember looking up to the seniors when I was a freshman, and to be in that spot now is just crazy.”

One thing Fiedorowicz will miss after his college days are trips to his favorite restaurant: Village Inn.

“I go there every Sunday after a big win,” he said.

But when asked about what he will miss most about Iowa City, Fiedorowicz didn’t have to think hard.

“All of my friends and the other people I’ve met along the way,” he said. “Football as a whole just brings everyone together, so I’m going to miss that the most.”

Reach Nick Fetty at nfetty@press-citizen.com or 887-5409.

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Category: Iowa Hawkeyes Football

About Nick Fetty: Sports reporter for HawkCentral.com and Iowa City Press-Citizen. View author profile.

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