By Chris Williams, CycloneFanatic.com Publisher
Right now, we have no idea who Iowa State’s starting quarterback will be in 2011. We do know one thing for sure though. That guy won’t have the luxury of throwing the football to Collin Franklin.
Franklin, Iowa State’s leading receiver (530 yards and three touchdowns) in 2010, is long gone due to graduation. Who will attempt to fill the void?
Enter Ernst Brun Jr. into the conversation. Brun, a 6-foot-3, 222-pound “hybrid” tight end out of Mt. Sac C.C. (Calif.) signed with Iowa State on Wednesday.
“We really feel like he is a guy who is that hybrid tight end,” said Iowa State’s tight end coach Courtney Messingham. “Even though he isn’t 6-foot-6, he has a basketball-type body.”
Brun had division one basketball offers coming out of high school. Messingham said to think “Marquis Hamilton” when imagining Bruns’ body.
“He is a good, thick looking body that can run,” Messingham said. “He is a physical enough guy at the point of attack where he can block and do the things that we ask him to yet, he probably brings more of a Collin Franklin look to us as he can make big plays when we throw it to him.”
Depending how things play out in the spring and during summer camp, Iowa State could have a tight end by committee look in 2011.
“When you look at our tight end position, you have a (Kurt) Hammerschmidt who is 6-foot-5, 250-plus. He runs well. He can block at the point of attack but he isn’t really proven yet,” Messingham said. “Ricky Howard came in and we’re happy with how physical he is. He doesn’t run down the field as well but maybe fills more of the role of Derrick Catlett two years ago.”
When you add Brun and Pierce Richardson to the mix, the tight end position should be strong at Iowa State for years to come. That’s big considering that regardless of who wins the job, a first-year starting quarterback will be in the mix this fall.