Notre Dame Should Have Another Solid Group of TEs
Take a brief moment and reflect on the last five starting tight ends to suit up for the Irish: Anthony Fasano, John Carlson, Kyle Rudolph and Tyler Eifert are all currently on NFL rosters and Troy Niklas will almost certainly be joining them when the draft comes up this week.
That’s a pretty darn impressive feat for a school to have four and possibly five meaningful players in the league at a position as specific as tight end.
Suffice it to say, Notre Dame has had one of the best tight end units in the country for about 10 years in a row now and this year should be no different.
Albeit unproven, Ben Koyack will be the starter. A four-star prospect from the recruiting class of 2011, he saw a bit of game action last year, catching 10 balls for 171 yards and three touchdowns. He has just about as much pass catching experience as any receiver on the roster with the exception of DaVaris Daniels, who will presumably be on the team this fall but is currently serving a school suspension.
Mike Heuerman figures to be right behind Koyack, pushing every step of the way. Also a four-star prospect (class of '13), he preserved a year of eligibility last season and did not see any playing time. However, the coaching staff has sung nothing but praise for him and Irish fans are excited to see what he can do.
Regardless of who is catching the passes, who is throwing the passes and who is coaching them, Notre Dame has created a culture of exceptional tight end play and I do not see why this year will be any different.