Exclusive interview with Iowa State TE Charlie Kolar: Senior Bowl, spaghetti controversy, and more

NY Jets, Charlie Kolar
NY Jets, Charlie Kolar / John E. Moore III/GettyImages
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Iowa State tight end Charlie Kolar is one of the most interesting prospects in the 2022 NFL Draft, both as it pertains to his on and off-field abilities.

A former multi-sport athlete who played basketball alongside future NBA star Trae Young in high school, Kolar put together a decorated career at Iowa State that saw him break numerous school records and earn three consecutive All-American honors.

From deciding to return to college based on a coin flip (sort of) to a particular spaghetti-related controversy from last summer, Charlie is as interesting off the field as he is talented on it.

I recently had the opportunity to sit down and chat with Charlie about everything from his football journey to working with the NY Jets at the Senior Bowl to his admiration of Iowa's unofficial state beer. Below is a full transcription of our conversation.

The NFL Dream

Justin Fried: "So you grew up playing a lot of sports, specifically football and basketball once you got to high school. When did the NFL dream really come alive for you? Was that something you always wanted growing up or was it something you kind of figured out later in your life?"

Charlie Kolar: "It was later for sure. Basketball was my favorite sport for most of my life until later in high school, I realized I was probably better at football. I didn't even go to college thinking about the NFL. I just went to college thinking about trying to go to the best spot and contribute to a team. It wasn't until my redshirt sophomore or junior year that I was like 'oh sh--, maybe I have a chance to make some money off of this in the long term and play it professionally.' I've always worked as hard as I can and when I realized I had a chance to play in the NFL, it didn't really change that much. I just continued to do the things I'd been doing."