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Notre Dame Football

Notre Dame's Michael Mayer Grateful for Tight End University Experience

July 18, 2022

Notre Dame tight end Michael Mayer secured the bag earlier this summer as he was invited to Tight End University, which is hosted by Travis Kelce (Kansas City), George Kittle (San Francisco) and Greg Olsen (former NFL tight end). 

Tight End University is a multi-day retreat where NFL tight ends headed to Vanderbilt to get in a few workouts, learn in the classroom and simply have a good time at night. 

Mayer was part of the first class of collegiate tight ends to get invited to the event as he was joined by Michigan's Erick All and Alabama's Cameron Latu. 

"It was led by Rubicon, which is George Kittle's marketing agency,” Mayer told ISD. “Rubicon and Tight End U came together now that we can do some NIL stuff and they invited some 'rookies,' which is what they called us when we were there. 

"We got to do a sponsorship with Levi's jeans the first day and the second day, we got to train a little bit. We learned from Kelce, Kittle and Olsen was out there coaching a lot. We learned a lot in a few days."

The 6-foot-4, 251-pounder and the other college tight ends had to return early, so they didn't get whiteboard or classroom instruction, but Mayer made the most of his time on the field. 

"They had two more days at Vanderbilt, but we had to come home two days earlier because it was going to be a recruiting violation if we went,” stated Mayer. “We didn't get to do anything in the classroom, so all the stuff we were doing was on the field. 

"I learned a lot of good lessons and a lot of things that I need to work on - getting out of breaks this way and getting out of breaks that way. Leverage - that type of thing. I learned a lot about stuff like that." 

Mayer has been dominant since he stepped foot on campus as he's tallied 113 receptions for 1,290 yards and nine touchdowns in his first two seasons in the blue and gold. 

The accolades are long for the Kentucky native, but the event also served as motivation as Mayer heads into what is likely his last year at Notre Dame. 

"I have a ton of work I need to do,” explained Mayer. “Getting out of my breaks faster, reading the defender better and that type of thing. After that, I'm like, 'Alright, it's going to be a big July and I need to sit down with Coach (Gerad Parker) and talk about Tight End U and what I need to work on. 

"It's been great. I went there and I'm like, 'Dang, there is stuff I need to work on.' I'm out here thinking I'm pretty good and I go train with them and there are things I need to work on." 

Mayer also appreciated the willingness of the NFL veterans to teach college players, which is something they didn't have to do. 

"When I was training with them, I realized this was the first time me and the other college guys were training with pro guys who know a lot about the game of football,” Mayer said. “They were very patient with us and taught us a lot of good things. They could have gone out there and did their own thing, but they sat with us and helped us." 

Perhaps the biggest takeaway for Notre Dame's All-American tight end came off the field. 

Mayer was able to network, but also get to see how the NFL's best players conduct themselves when they aren't in pads. 

"It was a really cool thing to watch them go to work," Mayer stated. "The thing that really caught my eye was how they were off the field. Awesome guys, down the earth, no ego and it was fun to hang out with them on the field, but also off the field. It was good to get to know them away from the field and they're really good people." 

In fact, Mayer saw some similarities to how Notre Dame's players conduct themselves. 

"It's kind of the same way with every player,” he said. “They're not going to be the same person when training on the field as they would be off the field." 

Bussin with The Boys
George Kittle and Michael Mayer 

Mayer also had the unique experience of going on one of the top sports podcasts in the world. The Notre Dame star sat down with Will Compton, who hosts Bussin' With The Boys, for a super casual interview. 

"That was the first time I've done something big like that and getting out of my comfort zone a little bit," laughed Mayer. "I got to go on there for a little bit and then George came on there with me. I think that will be out in the next week or two, but it was good to meet Will Compton and he's a really good guy. 

"He's going into his 10th year in the league and he's a really funny and entertaining guy. It was good to get that started a little bit." 

As for the question posed by fans across the country, Mayer does believe Notre Dame is Tight End U and it's not close. 

Mayer was joined by former Irish tight ends Cole Kmet, Tommy Tremble, Durham Smythe and Brock Wright, which was a statement. 

"I think we definitely had the most tight ends down there," said Mayer. "We definitely established ourselves. I was arguing with Kittle the entire time about Notre Dame being Tight End U over Iowa. He obviously had a different opinion on it, but I think that's a big argument there and we had the most tight ends out of any school there." 

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