Former Hawkeye Great and NFL Star Enters Iowa’s Hall of Fame
Within the last 15 years, the Iowa Hawkeyes have had seven tight ends be selected in the NFL Draft. In 2019, BOTH of their starting tight ends were taken in the first round.
Here's the list:
- Scott Chandler, 2007 - Fourth Round, San Diego Chargers
- Brandon Myers, 2009 - Sixth Round, Oakland Raiders
- Tony Moeaki, 2010 - Third Round, Kansas City Chiefs
- C.J. Fiedorwicz, 2014 - Third Round, Houston Texans
- George Kittle, 2017 - Fifth Round, San Francisco 49ers
- TJ Hockenson, 2019 - First Round, Detroit Lions
- Noah Fant, 2019 - First Round, Denver Broncos
While you may not recognize every single name that was taken at one point or another, the sentiment remains the same. Iowa has definitely earned the nickname of "Tight End U."
To a degree, each of those men listed can thank the original great tight end that came from the University of Iowa -- Dallas Clark. Who, thanks to all he did for the Hawkeyes, will be entering the Iowa Athletics Hall of Fame as part of the 2022 class.
During his tenure at Iowa, the Sioux Falls, South Dakota native came to Iowa City and lit up the Big Ten. In his two seasons and 25 games played in a Hawkeye uniform, Clark grabbed 81 passes for 1,281 yards and eight touchdowns.
He was also a consensus first-team All-American, first-team All-Big Ten, and John Mackey Award (an honor given to the best tight end in the country) recipient in 2002.
Clark left Iowa in 2003 and was selected by the Indianapolis Colts with the 24th pick in the first round.
Over his 11-year career in the NFL -- nine of which was spent in Indianapolis -- the eventual Super Bowl Champion played in 143 games with 118 starts, racking up 505 catches for 5,665 yards and 53 touchdowns.
It may have helped that he had NFL Hall of Famer Peyton Manning as his quarterback, but still -- Manning couldn't have accomplished all he did without the former Hawkeye.
Manning said it himself in an interview with the IndyStar, detailing why Clark was so important:
Let's face it, Dallas was a problem for teams. I've always said you'd like to have teams have a conversation about how they would handle a certain player. I know for a fact that Dallas was a guy teams were having a conversation about. 'Do we keep a linebacker on him? Do we keep a safety on him? Do we bring in a third cornerback to play against him?'
He added this:
Dallas is one of my favorite teammates and a guy that truly loved football.
The remainder of the 2022 Iowa Athletics Hall of Fame class includes Amy Fowler (field hockey), Dan Holm (wrestling), Kari Knopf (softball), Keith Noreen (baseball), George Roddy (men’s golf), and Nancilea Underwood (women’s swimming & diving).