Iowa Hawkeyes’ Jay Higgins and Luke Lachey crack CBS Sports’ Top 100 Players for 2024

Talent seems to always find a way to shows its head for the Iowa Hawkeyes. Sometimes it is highly-recruited talent that comes in and delivers upon the expectations. But, for Iowa, it is often under-recruited talents that develop and thrive with the Hawkeyes.

Two Hawkeyes happen to fall into the latter category as they are continuing to blossom into high-level talent and producers for this team. Those two are linebacker Jay Higgins and tight end Luke Lachey. Each are at two positions that the Hawkeyes are known for producing at.

The two of them find themselves among CBS Sports’ Top 100 Players for 2024 across college football. Higgins cracks the top 25 and finds himself ranked as the No. 21 player in America while Luke Lachey, who will return from a leg injury, is heralded as an incredibly talented player as he comes in as the No. 69 player in the nation.

21. Iowa LB Jay Higgins

Higgins is an extremely productive player who has a nose for the ball and seems to be involved on almost every tackle. He led the country last season with 171 tackles in his first season as a true starter, including 18 against Penn State.

A good athlete who seems to always be in the right spot and is a sure tackler, Higgins only missed seven attempts on the season. He is solid in coverage as well. My hunch is the NFL takes notice in 2025. – Blake Brockermeyer, CBS Sports

As CBS mentions, Higgins was a tackling machine for the Hawkeyes. He seemed to be in the mix on almost every play. Jay Higgins could have went to the NFL but joins seven other starters that are returning to one of college football’s top units. It is only a matter of time before Jay Higgins is playing on Sunday.

69. Iowa TE Luke Lachey

Lachey is one of the better in-line tight ends in the game, we just haven’t seen much of it as he’s coming off a shortened season where an injury held him to three contests. Lachey is a plus-blocker who can hold his own in the zone and gap schemes and is a large target to work the middle of the field in the passing game. Tight End U needs Lachey healthy. If he is, he will be a huge part of Iowa’s success. Brockermeyer, CBS Sports

One of the highest compliments to a player and showing how much a team needs him is what happens when they aren’t on the field. Iowa struggled mightily in the passing game when Lachey went down last year. The Hawkeyes are going to utilize him as one of the top target in their passing attack this year and could have Lachey as the next Iowa tight end heading to the NFL.

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Story originally appeared on Hawkeyes Wire