NOTEBOOK: Tight ends, more tight ends and “Speedy” Datrone Young

Tight ends/recruiting coordinator Alex Golesh yells to the offense during practice on Aug. 4.

Noah Rohlfing

On Media Day Eve, Iowa State tight ends coach Alex Golesh, defensive backs coach D.K. McDonald and three players spoke to the press.

Some of the many topics included positional flexibility, Chinese history in tight end meetings and the origin of Datrone Young’s nickname, “Speedy”.

Tight ends growing in all departments

Alex Golesh started his press conference with a joke about the tight end coach being the main man at a press conference.

But in his nearly 10-minute presser, Golesh said a ton about the growth that the position group has had over the course of the offseason.

Golesh specifically referenced Dylan Soehner and redshirt freshman Charlie Kolar as two players that have shown a lot of improvement since the 2017 season ended.

“The young guys are now older,” Golesh said. “They look like Division I tight ends now.”

Iowa State has not used their tight ends in the passing game very often since Campbell took the job in 2015, with Chase Allen leading all tight ends in receiving yards last season with 39.

Golesh said that while it’s not necessarily what they hope for, they want to focus on blocking first with all of the players in that position when they first get into the program.

It’s crucial, according to Golesh, for the Cyclones to establish a physical running game. It’s something that Golesh makes clear on recruiting visits as well, despite knowing it may turn off one or two prospective players.

“We want a guy that’s gonna go clean up holes for running backs, protect, and then be able to get out and catch balls when needed,” Golesh said.

Intellectual debates in the tight end room

Golesh mentioned that the tight ends room required him to have his stuff together, otherwise it can backfire on you.

One story from Charlie Kolar exemplifies the quirky and interesting atmosphere that the Cyclones have with their tight end group.

Soehner said that Kolar had an affinity for Chinese history, a fun little nugget on its own. But Kolar took it a step further, saying that he had a trivia game on Chinese history lined up with Golesh, but that Golesh backed out.

When asked if there were any other interests he had Kolar said that he played a little bit of piano but that in fall camp, “There’s not much time for anything but football.”

Datrone Young has been “Speedy” since birth, and he might have a role in the Iowa State secondary

Datrone Young got the nickname “Speedy” before he could walk, talk or run.

Young said that he got the nickname because he was born a couple of days early, and it’s stuck. Young is indeed speedy, and defensive backs coach D.K. McDonald said that Young’s speed is only one of the traits he’s shown since arriving in Ames.

“He has some great attributes,” McDonald said. “he’s a tough young man, about as tough as they get. He doesn’t back down from anybody.”

Young has a chance to increase his role with the Iowa State defense this season, as the Cyclones look to build depth at the cornerback position. McDonald said that there are as many as eight players who could see time in that role.