It's no secret that the Iowa Hawkeyes are on the look out for a superb pass catching tight end. They have targeted some of the biggest names in the country the past two recruiting classes only to come up just short in landing some blue chippers.
The success that All American and Mackey Award winner Dallas Clark enjoyed in Iowa's offense in 2001 & 2002 should certainly make Iowa an intruiging destination for a tight end prospect, in addition to Iowa's rich lineage with tight ends from the 1980's and 1990's; Marv Cook, Jonathon Hayes, Scott Slutzker, Alan Cross, Zeron Flemister and others. Clark and Flemister are both currently in the NFL.
Which is why Chase Coffman of Raymore-Peculiar High School, located just south of Kansas City, is already one of Iowa's top recruiting priorities for the class of 2005.
Coffman, son of former Green Bay Packers tight end Paul Coffman (1978-1985, then two years in KC and one in Minnesota) will be among the best pass-catching tight ends in the nation.
He already has offers from Missouri and Kansas State, and most recently, the University of Iowa.
"He is being recruited hard by Iowa, Missouri, Kansas State, USC, Ohio State; I also got a letter from Virginia.," said Coffman's high school coach Tom Kruse.
"I know he likes how Iowa uses the tight end in their offense. I have received some things from the University of Miami, but they have not requested film yet."
"He and his dad were both excited when (Iowa tight end) Coach (Eric) Johnson called and offered. Iowa told us that they would be sending the letter and they were true to their word, as they had it within a day."
The 6-foot-6, 215-pound Coffman was selected to Missouri's all state team last year in Class 5-A, the second largest classification in the state.
Here is how Kruse describes his star player:
"I think the biggest thing with Chase is how he handles the little things that you don't coach as far as a receiver goes. Technique, fakes, etc. He does not mind being double covered, as he knows we are still going to throw it his direction. He is a gamer and a playmaker. He has been one of our go-to guys the last two years and he has been a big reason for some of the success that we have had. I can remember when he was a sophomore; he had a lot of one on one coverage. Then this past season, it was two on one most of the time. In the last three games, they put three over there."
Q: Where does he line up?
"What we have with him is that you have a kid that can go out wide, one on one with a corner, in a tight end's frame. At 6-6 and the ability to jump, he also has great hands. We like getting him out on the edge. I think he is going to be a true tight end. He likes to go across the middle. Although he is 215 now, he could carry 265 pretty easily. He is one of those special players, I think. Next year, he will gain all of the attention from the opposing defense. I have to find a way to move him around and spread him out. At the college level, he will be fast enough and more athletic than some of the linebackers that will try to cover him. He is a good one. I cannot say enough good things about him."
"His work ethic is outstanding. I think a lot of that comes from the fact that his dad knows what the little things are. The things that you don't teach as a coach at the high school level, he already knows. Like if you are supposed to push the route from 13 to 11, he will be at 11. One thing that gets overlooked is his ability to go up. He out jumps a lot of people. We get a lot of 5-10 corners at the high school level. He will see some 6-3 guys at the next level, but he has the ability to jump at 6-6, that makes a nice big target."
"Right now, he is still growing into his body. He is going to run a legit 4.8 right now. Getting a hold of someone that knows how to teach a kid to run a 40 is important; your start, your stance and how you finish. He could drop down to low 4.7's to even a 4.6 with his frame. We don't teach that, but I guess we should because the 40-time is one of the main things colleges look at. But if you see a highlight tape of Chase, that sells you on him alone."
Q: You said you were familiar with former Iowa tight end Dallas Clark. Coffman sounds a bit like him.
"I would agree with that. I would. That guy (Clark) flat loved going across the middle. Chase is very competitive. Since I have been here, he is the first junior to be elected captain. Normally that is for seniors. I think the kids respect him, they love his work ethic and he hates to lose. That continues to drive him."
"We two-platoon, but if he had a place on defense, it would be linebacker. He has a nose for the football. Here I am with a D-1 recruit and only playing him on one side, but if I had to, I would have no reservations putting him on the other side."
Some services are touting Coffman among the best pass catching tight ends in the nation
"I would agree. I know he is that in the state of Missouri. I don't know this for sure, because I have never coached one, but I think that he is going to play on Sunday's."
Q: He has the good bloodlines. Is his father a part of the team at all?
"I am such a good coach that I have him volunteer assist with the freshman defensive line. (laughs) If you have ever spoken with Paul, he is just a class act. His (Chase's) brother will be a quarterback for us this year, so we will have a Coffman to Coffman connection. He is going to be a dandy, too."
Look for more updates and a special feature on Chase Coffman in an upcoming issue of Hawkeye Nation magazine and here at HawkeyeNation.com.