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Tight ends could have big role vs. Northern Illinois

[ 0 ] August 28, 2013 |

IOWA CITY – Don’t tell C.J. Fiedorowicz he’s not a primary target.

The Iowa tight end is expecting big things this season from first-year starting quarterback Jake Rudock, and his potential passing targets.

“I wouldn’t say we’re just a check-down option,” Fiedorowicz said. “If we’re running a shorter route, yeah, we are a check-down.

“But we’re still going to make plays as a group.”

Fiedorowicz was Iowa’s third-leading receiver last season, averaging 3.8 catches a game and 9.6 yards per reception.

He could boost those numbers Saturday when Northern Illinois visits Kinnick Stadium.

“The nice thing is, I think we can use our tight ends to maybe take some pressure off the outside guys,” coach Kirk Ferentz said. “Hopefully, we’ll have some places to distribute the ball.”

Fiedorowicz’s 6-foot-7, 265-pound frame could present matchup problems for the Huskies, who do not have a linebacker or defensive back taller than 6-2.

Ray Hamilton, a 6-5, 252 junior, and Jake Duzey, 6-4, 245 sophomore, are backing up Fiedorowicz.  George Kittle, 6-4, 225 freshman, is making strides.

“We’ve been training since we lost to Nebraska last season,” Fiedorowicz said. “They all have their own, unique way of playing.

“Duzey and George are like the fast guys. Ray can catch the ball, block on the line. We just call ourselves hybrids, because we can do a little bit of everything.”

Their main task Saturday is helping Rudock find his comfort zone. The sophomore from Weston, Fla., will be taking his first career college snaps.

“We’ve got tons of confidence in Jake,” Fiedorowicz said. “He’s been making plays all camp. He knows where to go with the ball, so I don’t think anybody has any worries about that.”

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Category: Iowa Hawkeyes Football

About Andrew Logue: Andrew has been with the Des Moines Register for 15 years, covering everything from preps to Hawkeye and Cyclone sports, as well as the Drake Relays. View author profile.

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