IOWA CITY, Iowa – The Iowa football team received a nice gift on July 4th as Missouri tight end Zach Ortwerth announced his commitment to the Hawkeyes.
His commitment comes less than two weeks after the 6-foot-5, 220-pound Ortwerth took an official visit to Iowa.
“I enjoyed getting around the players and seeing what the life of an Iowa football player was like,” Ortwerth told Hawk Fanatic shortly after his visit. “It was also good to hear about the program through them.”
Rivals ranks Ortwerth (6-5, 220) as a three-star recruit. The scouting service sees him as the No. 22 player overall in Missouri for the 2023 Class.
According to Max Preps, Ortwerth caught 20 passes for 299 yards and five touchdowns last season, while being credited with eight pancake blocks this past fall. On defense, he racked up 72 tackles (16 for loss) and a pair of sacks to go with four passes defended.
Assistant coach LeVar Woods recruits St. Louis for Iowa, while Abdul Hodge coaches tight ends for the Hawkeyes.
“I spoke with coach Hodge and coach Woods the most this weekend,” Ortwerth said after his official visit to Iowa. “Coach Hodge talked about developing me and giving me an opportunity to compete,” Ortwerth said.
Iowa has built a strong tradition at tight end that dates back to when Hayden Fry coached the Hawkeyes from 1979 to 1998.
Kirk Ferentz has carried on that tradition as 11 Iowa tight ends have been selected in the NFL draft under his watch, and senior-to-be Sam LaPorta should make it 12 in the 2023 NFL draft as he projects as one of the top tight ends in the country.
Iowa has earned the title of Tight End U and Ortwerth referred to that in his post on social media.
Ortwerth, whose father played football for Drake, picked Iowa over at least a dozen other scholarship offers from schools that include Wisconsin, Purdue, Nebraska, Illinois, Louisville, West Virginia, Minnesota and Indiana among others.
He took officials visits to Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota and Pittsburgh.
Ortwerth is the 15th player to commit to Iowa’s 2023 recruiting class.
— Zach Ortwerth (@ZOrtwerth) July 4, 2022