Nebraska’s Kaden Helms Sees Hawkeyes as a Good Fit

September 10, 2020

Written by Rob Howe

Hawkeye Nation

If you play tight end, you’re aware of Iowa. Dallas Clark, George Kittle, T.J. Hockenson and Noah Fant are among the well-known names who have suited up there for the Hawkeyes.

The latter is especially important when they’re recruiting in the Omaha area, where Fant grew up before earning all-American honors in Iowa City. He’s entering his second season with the NFL’s Denver Broncos, who took him in the first round of the draft.

When the program offered Bellevue (NE) West High tight end Kaden Helms last month, its reputation at the position proceeded it.

“Obviously one thing Iowa is known for is the amount of tight ends they are producing for the NFL,” the Class of 2022 product told told HN. “That’s one thing that really stands out to me. Me being a tight end/flex guy, it would only be right for Iowa to be up there on the list of schools.”

Bellevue West is ranked as the top large-school team in the state after winning a championship last fall. It features senior receiver Keagan Johnson, an Iowa verbal commitment, along with junior tight end Micah Riley and freshman wideout Daevonn Hall, both of whom hold Hawkeye offers.

“The Iowa offer really opened my eyes to my own potential. I’ve been working really hard to get faster and gain weight, etc., and the offer was just icing on the cake,” Helms said.

Assistant LeVar Woods is leading the Hawkeyes’ pursuit of Helms. They’re building a relationship.

“He’s a cool dude and we click very well. He’s just easy to talk to,” Helms said.

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Helms (6-6, 215) did not grow up a fan of any particular college football program. Nearby Nebraska along with Iowa State, Kansas, Minnesota, Purdue and Buffalo also have offered him scholarships.

“I mainly just watched whoever was good that particular year,” he said.

Fant is a guy who is too fast for most linebackers and too big for the majority of defensive backs. Helms is similar in that regard.

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“My playing style isn’t really the true, hand-in-dirt tight end that everyone pictures. I’m more of an athletic flex type of guy who can play tight end and create mismatches for linebackers and safeties. I definitely see my playing style fitting in at Iowa because of how well they utilize their tight ends in all different fashions,” he said.

With two years of high school remaining, Helms is not rushing things on the college front.

“I’m just taking my recruitment day by day and not focusing on all the noise that comes with it. I’m just coming out everyday working as hard as I can and letting my work speak for me,” he said.

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Rivals and 247 both see Helms as a three-star recruit. The former lists him as the No. 23 tight end nationally in the ’22 Class, while the latter has him as the No. 105 receiver.

Helms caught 16 passes for 232 yards and two touchdowns as a 10th-grader on a loaded offense. At a Chicago scouting combine this summer, he ran the 40-yard dash in 4.96 seconds and posted a 33-inch vertical jump.

Here’s a look at Helms’ sophomore highlights:

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