For talented tight end prospect Charlie Kolar, seeing was believing.
When Iowa State presented the talented 6-foot-6, 230-pound prospect from Norman (Okla.) his first Power 5 offer in mid-May, he was enthralled. The offer presented a chance to be close to some of his family in Dubuque (Iowa), an opportunity to return home each season for a Big 12 game and quality academics.
Still, Kolar faced uncertainty during his drive north up I-35 on Thursday.
“I wasn’t sure coming to Iowa State,” Kolar said Friday. “I knew I liked Iowa State, but I didn’t know much about it. So I wasn’t sure until I came, and I loved it. I love the facilities, loved the coaches. One thing they really talked about a lot was how fantastic the fan base is. The coaches and players all rave about how the fans are incredible. They showed me pictures of games where they were 3-9 or 3-8 and they were still sold out. That amazed me and that was awesome. So I’m really excited because the fan base is great.”
Kolar’s excitement comes after he became the Cyclones' 13th commit in the 2017 class, committing to Iowa State over offers from Air Force, Army and Stephen F. Austin and interest from Kansas State, Houston, Oklahoma State, Texas Tech and others.
Kolar, who is the brother of Oklahoma State redshirt freshman quarterback John Kolar, was given plenty of reasons during his two-day trip.
“There were a ton of factors. First of all, playing at Iowa State, something good is happening there. The phrase is, ‘A Storm Is Brewing.’ It’s really true, they have something good going on,” Kolar said. “Obviously I like Iowa State, but outside of that, the fact that it’s in the Big 12, so I’ll play in Oklahoma at least once a year with the way their schedule works out, which is awesome. I get to go home and play the team I grew up with. Then family is within a few hours if I have to go visit them. Also, beside the athletic point on Iowa State, they also have a great engineering program, really good people there and just a lot of positives.”
Iowa State, meanwhile, adds a versatile and athletic tight end to the fold. Kolar, who also plays basketball, had 52 receptions for 920 yards and 13 touchdowns in 11 games last season as a junior for Class 6-A Norman North.
The Cyclones and tight ends coach Alex Golesh saw an ability to use him across the field.
“He showed [film] at Toledo and then he talked through with me how I could be that guy,” Kolar said of Alex Golesh. “He showed me how I can use my assets like the guy on film could and how I can play off or put a little more weight on me and play on or flex and do a lot of different qualities and how I can integrate into their set, their skills and their offense.”
Kolar, who grew quickly to 6-foot-6 during high school, currently sits around 230 pounds but continues to add weight. He gained 10-15 pounds during basketball season and will continue to grow into his frame.
While he fits as a flex receiver at Norman North, Kolar will soon become a multi-talented tight end for Matt Campbell and Co.
“My first love was basketball, so I think I’m pretty athletic for my position,” Kolar said. “I don’t want to toot my own horn, but I think I can move pretty well, I think I have a pretty good catch radius and my frame, I grew so fast in high school I can still put on a lot of weight. I think I’m a pretty good athlete, [I can] block and catch and then I have pretty good hands. I think they like that and appreciate that and that’s why they gave me the offer.”
Friday, that offer turned into a commitment.
“Everything just fit. It felt right,” Kolar said. “Academics were good, athletics were good, coaches were awesome and players were nice and I just felt like it was a good place.”