Dynamic Duo: For Charlie Kolar and Chase Allen, friendship and production go hand-in-hand

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Andrew Harrington

It was the summer of 2017; a 17-year-old football player named Charlie Kolar arrived in Ames for his official recruiting visit. He was not a top-1,000 recruit according to the databases, and certainly felt the nerves of playing college football over the coming years. Kolar stayed with fellow tight end Chase Allen on his visit, who was heading into his second year with the team at the time.

While Allen spent a lot of time showing Kolar around Ames, the two also used the opportunity to get to know each other better, creating a connection almost instantly.

“I hosted him on his recruiting visit, and I could tell right off the bat that this guy was definitely a character, but at the same time he was very intelligent and motivated,” Allen said. “Here is a guy that I see a lot of similarities in, and I think he can say the same thing. We are kind of wired the same way, so I usually know what he is thinking when he does certain things, and he can do the same to me.”

This recruiting visit not only assured Kolar that Ames is the place that he wants to be, but it set the foundation of one of the greatest friendships in Iowa State football.

A Blossoming Relationship

Over their first three years as teammates, Allen and Kolar grew closer and closer together. The two spent time together on the field, but the time together off the field, whether it was hanging out together or the short stint they had as roommates, proved to be just as valuable.

Kolar has been driven by Allen, as they have both competed for a starting spot at the same position during their careers. He believes that this competition is what fueled the ultimate bond between the two, as they share a goal to do what is best for the team.

“Chase is one of the closest things that I have had to another brother, because there are times that I really do not like Chase and he does not like me. There are also times that I really love Chase. I think that is what drives that competitiveness too is that true friendships and brotherhood are built through competition,” Kolar said. It’s not all sunsets and roses and everything. We both have the same goal to be the best player that we can be for the team, and I think that is why we are so close and work together so well both on and being able to work together off the field like classes with the other tight ends.”

The appreciation is mutual as Allen enjoys the uniqueness of Kolar, and his ability to make everyone smile.

“Charlie is one of my best friends. He has been my roommate, he has been my teammate for forever now. You will never meet anyone in your entire life like Charlie. He has his own way of doing things, he has a rhyme and a reason for everything that he does and he believes it in his heart,” Allen said. “He has got a goofy personality, that is why everyone loves him.”

Growth of on-field production

Each member of the duo redshirted in their first seasons (Allen in 2016 and Kolar in 2017), despite the fact that they came into a tight end room that was relatively young. During the 2017 season, Allen led all Cyclone tight ends with just 39 receiving yards.

Things began to change during the 2018 season, as Kolar and Allen combined for 221 receiving yards and three touchdowns. This may not have been a major breakthrough, but the pair built up the confidence needed in order to make history. As the players grew closer off of the field, the production on the field increased.

Kolar understands the role that their chemistry has played in their development over the years.

“Obviously when you play sports you are not going to like all of your teammates, but you have to work with them anyways, but it does help when you like your teammates,” Kolar said. “We move a ridiculous amount and always the defense is moving, so it helps when you have that relationship off the field, it is much easier to communicate on the field.”

He was not the only one to credit the pair’s success to their chemistry, as tight ends coach Taylor Mouser believes that their elite communication stems from this chemistry.

“Really their communication with each other can definitely be credited to their relationship. They really push each other day-to-day to get the best out of each other,” Mouser said.

Kolar and Allen were phenomenal in 2019, combining for 864 yards and nine touchdowns. During the most recent campaign, they racked up 827 yards and nine more touchdowns. Iowa State led the nation in tight end receptions with 82 and finished second in yards with 1,057.

Leading the next generation

The tight end room as a whole has developed an unbreakable bond due to the leadership of players and staff; the success on the field certainly did not hurt either.

When Allen arrived on campus in 2016, Iowa State had just one senior and one junior tight end, so players like Allen had to find another source to soak up information. The pair of tight ends soaked up knowledge as the years went by, and have begun to raise up the next generation of Cyclone tight ends.

“We have both been there so long, and this is our third official position coach now. We both know how it operates, and we are able to coach up the young guys,” Allen said.

“We started off when we were both young guys, and we had high expectations for ourselves, but from an outside perspective no one was really expecting a lot of things out of us,” Allen said. “Now we have to be leaders in the offense, and bring the next group of guys along. That is something that we both worked on is just trying to be a good example for the young guys, so that we can have continued success at the position.”

Mouser believes that not only have the two become more vocal leaders, but they also lead by example.

“It really is like having a second and third coach in here,” Mouser said. “To be able to see what they do before practice, the extra work they put in after practice and what it takes to be a great player here is invaluable.”

Charlie Kolar and Chase Allen watched their relationship on and off the field flourish over the last four seasons, becoming roommates and making history on the field. The two will look to finish off their careers just like they started them: Together.