The University of Iowa basketball team shined when Luka Garza became the school’s all-time leading scorer. Now, the football program has made a move in hopes that his namesake can help the Hawkeyes.
Four-star tight end Luka Gilbert visited campus for the team’s 15-13 victory against Illinois on Saturday. Iowa clinched the Big Ten West Division with the win.
“The best part of the visit was meeting with the coaches,” Gilbert told HF. “Learning about the program, and how they are able to develop elite tight ends in the NFL was impressive.
“The game experience itself was also a highlight. Kinnick Stadium was on fire. The atmosphere was a lot of fun.”
The Hawkeyes joined a growing list of suitors for the talented Cincinnati Lakota West High standout. He’s reported scholarship offers from Michigan, Ohio State, Arkansas, Duke, Miami (FL), Louisville, Illinois, Boston College, Rutgers, Virginia Tech, Pittsburgh, Kentucky and others.
“As far as how I’d like to see the rest of my recruitment playing out, I am grateful to have some incredible opportunities. I plan to continue to build relationships and make a decision in late spring,” Gilbert said.
Iowa enjoys an important connection with Gilbert. His mother, Faith Gilbert, is an alumnus of the Big Ten university.
“She’s a devoted fan,” Luka said.
When talking about the best places for tight ends, Iowa comes up early in the discussion. It’s frequently referred to as Tight End U.
“I can see myself fitting in,” Gilbert said. “They like tight ends that can block, and that is one of my strengths. I know it takes hard work, and I’m committed to put in the work.”
On a team that likes to spread the ball around, Gilbert has hauled in 15 passes for 171 yards and two touchdowns as a junior this fall. He earned first-team all-conference honors.
The On3 Industry Ranking shows Gilbert as a four-star prospect, the No. 6 tight end in the country for ’25 and the third-best player overall in Ohio for the cycle. On3, Rivals, 247 and ESPN list him as a four-star.
At 6-foot-6, 225 pounds, Gilbert also stands out on the basketball court, starting on varsity as a sophomore. And he’s quite familiar with his famous namesake from Iowa.
“I’m a Luka Garza fan. I have studied his game. He is incredibly talented. I hope to see him have a great year with the Timberwolves,” Gilbert said.
Perhaps Hawkeye fans will be cheering for another Luka in the near future.