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Notre Dame Football

Fall Camp Preview | Tight End

July 27, 2022

The Athletic’s Dane Brugler listed his top draft-eligible tight ends before the college football season and it should be surprising to no one that Michael Mayer is TE1. He’s been TE1 for Notre Dame for two years and is set to lead the Irish in receptions for the third straight season.

What should we expect from him during camp? Probably a lighter workload than previous years, but we may see a bit more variety with the way he is utilized.

Last season he lined up in the slot on 49.1% of passing downs. This year we may see him lined up on the boundary a bit more often, especially if some young receivers don’t take hold of that job. Of course everyone will hear about Mayer doing Mayer things catching the football, but we might also get a glimpse of him in different alignments as well.

With Mitchell Evans out for camp, it’s a massive opportunity for Kevin Bauman to seize the second tight end role.

It’s not just about playing in-line and being involved in the run game. Bauman flashed exciting potential last summer before getting hurt in the first game of the season. The pressure will be on for him to have a great camp.

Cane Berrong won’t have as much pressure on him because he didn’t contribute as a freshman and his season ended with a torn ACL, but there was positive buzz about him in practices last fall and he appears to be 100% healthy this summer.

The big question with him has always been if he’ll be physically strong enough to succeed as a blocker because his receiving skills aren’t in doubt. If he can consistently make plays in that area, he could prove to be too talented to keep off the field.

It’s not a foregone conclusion with that because Eli Raridon sounds like he is going to be participating more than expected. He suffered a knee injury and many thought he might not be ready at all this season.

While I imagine the staff will be cautious with rushing him back, it’s undeniable that fans are excited about his potential. He’s the Joe Alt of this year’s class as someone who was a late riser in the rankings who could be good enough to make an immediate impact.

Holden Staes might not be as dynamic of an athlete as Raridon, but he’s another freshman coming at the position who has NFL potential. Even with Evans out, it’s still a stacked group so he and Raridon will have to jump the line to get in the mix for playing time, but that’s something that Mayer did. Cole Kmet was also good enough to do it too even if he didn’t get a ton of snaps.

Tight end should prove to be one of the most competitive situations on the team and that’s nothing new for Notre Dame fans. It would be strange if it wasn’t. Men’s Homefield Wake Up the Echoes T-Shirt

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