The recruitment of tight end T.J. Hockenson started heating up following a strong junior season on the gridiron, and now the process is advancing to the next step.
The 6-foot-6, 220-pound tight end from Chariton (IA), was named First-Team All-State following a junior season in which he caught 73 passes for 1,116 yards and 18 touchdowns. Hockenson made visits during his junior season to Iowa State, Iowa, Minnesota and Michigan State. Since then, Missouri and Kansas State have shown interest with letters.
With his season a thing of the past, Hockenson is taking his recruitment to the next level, most recently with a visit to Ames where he picked up an offer from Iowa State, marking his first.
“I’ve always been interested in Iowa State ever since I was little, but now that I’ve gotten up there, they really just treated me like family and treated me like I’m part of the program even though I’m really just starting the process,” Hockenson told AllCyclones.com. “That’s a big thing I’m looking for in a school.”
Hockenson plans to visit Kansas State for its Junior Day later this month and will stop by Minnesota for a spring practice in the coming weeks. He also plans to make multiple stops at Iowa State in the coming months. Otherwise, there is no set plan for Hockenson as he progresses toward his senior year.
He may camp with some schools this summer, but that depends on how the coming weeks go. He is currently thinking about doing USA Football during the summer months. “I think that would be fun,” he said.
Still early in the process, there is no clear timeline.
“I would like to pick a school earlier,” Hockenson said. “Like I said, I really like Iowa State. I just want to see my options. The first [offer] is always going to mean the most, so that’s going to be a factor in my decision.”
Hockenson has lost some weight during basketball season to drop to 210 pounds and said he’d like to add weight during the offseason. He is also working on his footwork and 40 time. That will pick up now with his first offer in from the Cyclones.
“I love talking to [Mark] Mangino. He’s a great guy. He’s a great coach. I respect him a lot. Just being able to have the option to play for him is a really great honor,” Hockenson said. “I feel like I would fit into their offense. That’s what they obviously want. They offered, so they’re seeing the same thing.”