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Notre Dame Football

Notre Dame TE Michael Mayer Continues To Be Hungry

April 29, 2021

Michael Mayer had high expectations entering the 2020 season as a freshman.

Part of it was recruiting hype, but the other piece was the 6-foot-5, 250-pounder turned heads in fall camp almost from the first day. 

Mayer ended 2020 with 42 catches for 450 yards and two touchdowns and don't expect a drop off in 2021. 

"I think it's staying doing what I did coming in last year as a freshman," stated Mayer. "I was very hungry to play. I wanted to be on the field with everybody. I think that determination has to stay the same. I have to come in and still act like no spot is pre-determined right now.

"We have a lot of good tight ends right now and a lot of good people are playing. I have to keep that hungry, pride and I have to keep playing and keeping my head down." 

Well, Mayer will be the starter if not Notre Dame's No. 1 option in the pass game, but what makes what he did even more impressive was he was a June enrollee. 

Mayer didn't benefit from spring practice or at least going through winter workouts as the Irish practiced just once last spring. 

"I think the first day I stepped on campus, I was comfortable," explained Mayer. "I met all the guys and Ian Book - great guy. I met Coach (John) McNulty and I was very comfortable with him and Coach (Tommy) Rees. I think it was just a matter of getting on the field and showing what I could do. 

"There were some freshman nerves and learning the playbook. Right when I stepped on the field and made a few plays in practice and people started noticing me, the nerves kind of dialed down. I knew what I could do and I was comfortable out there." 

In addition to staying hungry, Mayer has focused on becoming a leader within the offense over the last couple of months. 

"One of the things Coach Rees challenged me coming into the spring was to be more of a leader," Mayer said. "Be more vocal and be more of a leader with my actions. I'd consider myself the leader of the tight end room and a leader on the offense. 

"I have to come in and lead through my action and words more. I have to be more vocal and lead the offense." 

And yes, Mayer would love nothing more than to be Notre Dame's No. 1 offensive target this year, but he's not pressing for it. 

Mayer knows it will come organically and if it does happen, he'll be ready for it. 

"That's what the spring is for," Mayer stated. "The spring is awesome in that way. We have a lot of new offensive linemen and two QBs battling it out right now. Both are doing well and throwing me good balls in the pass game. 

"Coach Rees, Coach McNulty and Coach Kelly do a great job of putting plays together for me. I'm going to keep doing what they tell me to do and work on the things I need to work on. If it so happens that I'm the No. 1 target this year, it's going to happen. That's not going to be my set goal for the year. I'm not going to tell myself I need to be the No. 1 target this season.

“It's a matter of doing what the coaches want me to do and doing what I need to work on and letting the game speak for itself."

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