BLOOMINGTON -- Indiana 2021 football commitment Aaron Steinfeldt set a goal in his senior season at Bloomington North to prove he’s a more complete tight end.
Steinfeldt already demonstrated his receiving ability -- catching 38 passes for 547 yards and five TDs as a junior, which helped him land a scholarship offer with the Hoosiers.
Now the 6-foot-4, 233-pound Steinfeldt wants to shore up his run blocking and pass protection before beginning his Big Ten football career.
Steinfeldt had a hand in one of Bloomington North’s five rushing TDs against rival Bloomington South on Friday night, sealing off a lane with a block that led to a 2-yard TD run for teammate Cody Mikulich.
“I take a lot of pride in my run blocking,” Steinfeldt said. “I made it a mission this year from last year just to get better from run blocking, I mean last year was my first year run blocking on the line, and this year I think I’ve had some good games. It’s like night and day.”
Steinfeldt also had two catches for 48 yards, both in the second half, but it wasn’t enough for Bloomington North to avoid a stunning 44-37 overtime loss to its in-city rival. Bloomington North was up 37-24 with under a minute remaining, but an on-side kick recovery sandwiched between two quick touchdowns tied the game and forced overtime.
Steinfeldt came up with a big, leaping 30-yard catch on third-and-18 during a fourth-quarter Bloomington North touchdown drive. But for the most part, Bloomington North stuck with its game plan of running the football, which kept Steinfeldt busy blocking at the line of scrimmage and downfield.
“The runners were running so well, we kept running the ball,” Steinfeldt said. “I mean, I’m a team guy, so whatever helps the team win, wins. It didn’t come out tonight, but I felt we learned a lot more from this game than other games past. I think, as a team, we’re going to grow and learn from this.”
Steinfeldt and his family moved to Bloomington from Wisconsin when he was 5 years old. He accepted a scholarship offer to IU last April, after getting offers from a handful of schools throughout the Midwest, including Ball State and Cincinnati. Right now, Steinfeldt is the lone tight end commitment in a 2021 class that includes a pair of four-star offensive standouts – quarterback Donaven McCulley (Lawrence North) and wide receiver Jaquez Smith (Atlanta).
“I’ve grown up watching the program,” Steinfeldt said. “Seeing it from where it was, to where it is now, the guys we have in our class, I think it’s good trajectory.”
Likewise, Steinfedlt said he feels like he’s grown during his four-year high school football career. His father, Jesse Steinfeldt has served as his offensive coordinator at Bloomington North.
“Freshman year, I was very timid,” Steinfeldt said. “I didn’t know what to do. I was kind of like a baby giraffe you would say, but I think over time just from coaching and developing as a player and learning from other coaches developed me to be a good run blocker and good pass catcher.”
Steinfeldt said he’s in touch with IU football coach Tom Allen and tight ends coach Kevin Wright on a weekly basis.
“Coach Wright has just talked to me about getting better footwork,” Steinfeldt said. “It’s only my first year of being a good run blocker, but better footwork and also just getting 10 more pounds and slimming out and just getting bigger in the weight room. I think that’s my big thing and just my pass catching is pretty good. I just have to improve my routes, all motions, stuff like that. Just little things that will just make me a big-time player.”
Steinfeldt said he doesn’t plan to enroll early at IU because he wants to play his senior baseball season at Bloomington North. A first baseman, Steinfeldt hit .450 his sophomore year.
“My hand-eye coordination from baseball really translates to football as well,” Steinfeldt said.
It appears Steinfeldt may not be the only one in his family with a Division I future. His younger brother, Bloomington North freshman tight end Aidan Steinfeldt, was on the line with him, blocking in two-tight end sets. Already 6-3 and 218 pounds, Aidan Steinfeldt has the potential to fill out more before his high school football career ends.
“He played probably the best game he’s ever played,” Steinfeldt said. “He’s going to get better. Where he was now from where I was as a freshman, he’s like 10-times better, so you can expect him on those Rivals and 24/7 boards coming up soon. He’s a big-time player.”