Steven Stilianos did not enter the 2023 season with expectations to play a large role for the Iowa offense. However, he is the new TE1 for the Hawkeyes after a string of injuries for the program.

Star tight end Luke Lachey was the first of Iowa’s group to go down with a long-term injury, elevating Erick All into the lead role. All shined and developed into a go-to target for Iowa, but he sustained a season-ending injury against Wisconsin.

After finishing the game against the Badgers as the main tight end, Stilianos was listed as the new starter at the position for Week 8. During a recent media segment, he explained his journey at Iowa and his goal the rest of the way.


ESPN BET is now live in Iowa

Use promo code SATURDAY to get your $250 bonus


“Whenever you come somewhere you want to work your way to the top. I knew it would be a challenge and a climb, there were probably easier paths to the field at some of the other places I was looking at, but this is what you dream for, this is what you work for,” said Stilianos. “Obviously unfortunate how everything worked out but excited to showcase what I can do at this level.”

Stilianos began his career at Lafayette before transferring to Iowa a season ago. As for his decision to commit to the Hawkeyes, he specifically pointed to the reputation of the Hawkeyes when it comes to developing tight ends.

“It was one of the main reasons I came here,” Stilianos explained. “Outside of fitting in with the group here, just the reputation and the success of the position were really one of the main reasons why I came here.”

Through the first 7 games of the season, Stilianos has 5 catches for 54 yards but did not register a reception against the Badgers. He currently ranks fourth on the team in catches with the exception of the injured All and Lachey.