Football Recruiting: Collin Franklin’s replacement?

By Chris Williams, Publisher

It is no secret Iowa State will lose a lot on the offensive side of the football when this season concludes. One of the biggest holes to fill in 2011 will be that of tight end Collin Franklin, who currently leads the Cyclones in receiving with 34 receptions, 331 yards and two touchdowns.

It is possible that his immediate replacement committed to the good guys last week.

Ernst Brun, a 6-foot-4, 220-pound tight end out of Mt. San Antonio Community College (Walnut, Calif.) chose Iowa State mainly due to the fact that he believes immediate playing time will be waiting for him in Ames.

“They give me a good chance to start,” Brun told “I love the way that they use the tight end in their system.”

Bob Elliott has been working as Brun’s primary recruiter for Iowa State. Brun said that he chose the Cyclones over Kansas State, Memphis, Houston and Cincinnati.

“I’m a hybrid. I’m more of a slot tight end. I block well,” said Brun, who tries to model his game after that of the NFL’s Antonio Gates.

At this point in the season, Brun’s Mt. San Antonio team is 7-0. Brun has caught 26 passes for 239 yards and a touchdown over that span.

And yes, here is more proof that Saturday’s win at Texas is a major coup for recruiting.

“I saw the highlights but I had a game so I couldn’t watch it,” Brun said. “It felt really good. People kept saying, ‘hey man that’s where you’re going.”

Iowa State’s 2011 tight end situation

In addition to Brun’s debut, Kurt Hammerschmidt and Ricky Howard will be back in 2011. Hamerschmidt will be a junior, while Howard will be a senior.

Howard, a junior college transfer from Iowa State’s 2010 recruiting class, recently came down with an MCL injury, that will likely cause him to miss the remainder of this season.

During fall camp this year, the coaching staff was open about Hammerschmidt and Howard being neck and neck for playing time. I predict that Hammerschmidt will have a bit of an edge over the others but regardless, the tight end position battle will be a fun one to watch in the spring and next August. Freshman Pierce Richardson should be in the mix as well.