Charlie Kolar was a consensus three-star prospect, per ESPN, 247sports, and Rivals. Kolar attended Norman North high school in the state of Oklahoma. He was listed as the 12th best prospect out of the state per ESPN. Aside from Iowa State, Kolar also had offers from Oklahoma State, New Mexico, Army, Air Force, and Stephen F. Austin.
Kolar was a redshirt in 2017, his first year on campus. In 2018, he started in three games for the Cyclones, but appeared in thirteen after an injury to Chase Allen. Kolar ended the season with 11 receptions for 137 yards and three touchdowns. Kolar was also selected as First-Team Academic All-Big 12 and Second-Team All-Big 12 in 2018.
The 2019 season was a breakout one for the tight end. He was listed to the John Mackey Award preseason watchlist. Kolar ended the season with 51 receptions for 697 yards and seven touchdowns, including two against Texas Tech. In addition to the stats, Kolar was also named as a Mackey Award Finalist, First-Team All-Big 12, and Second and Third-Team All-American honors.