As detailed by Mike Hlas of Cedar Rapids' Gazette, Iowa tight ends have found success in college ball, on draft day and ultimately in the NFL.
On the other hand, last year, as Susan Denk of The Hawk Eye noted, "the position [was] glaringly absent in an offense that...fizzled more often than it [had] shone."
This wasn't due to lack of talent. Starter C.J. Fiedorowicz was a former 4-star recruit with measurables—6'7", 260 pounds—that are reminiscent of New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski and that make him almost impossible to cover.
Backup Ray Hamilton was also a former 4-star recruit. Fellow backup Zach Derby was a former walk-on, but he was a senior with starting experience.
Finally, redshirt freshmen Jake Duzey and Henry Krieger-Coble were young, undersized and inexperienced, but could have been useful if brought into the game in specific situations.
Hopefully, in 2013, Davis and Ferentz won't wait until November to start using their tight ends.
If they do involve them earlier, Duzey in particular presents some options.
He came to Iowa from Michigan. He played receiver in high school and, among other offers, boasted a scholarship from Oregon.
The Ducks don't use their tight ends in the traditional style, opting to employ them as H-backs. The "H" stands for "hybrid," and Iowa might consider using Duzey in a similar fashion.
His current official weight is 235 pounds, which means he is still small for a traditional tight end. The Hawks could revitalize their tight ends by making them more versatile, and that can start with Duzey.
He could line up in the backfield, on the line, on the outside or in the slot. This would add a new element to the Hawkeyes offense, and it fits in perfectly with the more spread look that OC Davis favored when he was in Texas.