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Luke Lachey announces 2024 return to Iowa Hawkeyes

The Iowa Hawkeyes will have their top pass-catcher back in 2024.

Junior tight end Luke Lachey revealed his intentions to return to the Hawkeyes for next season on Friday afternoon.

Like senior linebacker Jay Higgins before him, Lachey turned down an opportunity to enter his name into the 2024 NFL draft in favor of another season in the black and gold.

In making the announcement, Lachey also had a simple message like Higgins before him: “More work to be done… Go Hawks!”

Lachey was the Hawkeyes’ clear No. 1 pass-catching target before suffering a season-ending right ankle injury in Iowa’s 41-10 Week 3 win over Western Michigan.

The 6-foot-6, 253 pound tight end ended his 2023 season with 10 receptions for 131 yards. In the Columbus, Ohio, native’s career, he has reeled in 46 grabs for 662 receiving yards and four touchdowns while appearing in 30 games and starting 13.

Lachey’s return provides a star pass-catcher for quarterback Cade McNamara to go along with sophomore wide receivers Seth Anderson and Kaleb Brown.

Lachey joins a group of tight ends that will feature juniors-to-be Addison Ostrenga and Johnny Pascuzzi and sophomores-to-be Zach Ortwerth and Grant Leeper. The Hawkeyes await a stay-or-go decision from senior tight end Erick All. Iowa also signed tight ends Michael Burt and Gavin Hoffman in their 2024 class.

Iowa head football coach Kirk Ferentz discussed what advice he shares for his Hawkeyes making stay-or-go decisions.

“It’s ultimately about what’s best for them, kind of like recruiting. Make a decision that’s best for you. It would kind of be presumptuous for us to think that we know best when it comes to somebody else, what their goals may be,” Ferentz said.

In this instance, Iowa fans can celebrate because Lachey felt the best and right decision for him was one more trip around the sun in Iowa City.

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Story originally appeared on Hawkeyes Wire