• Phil Houk

All Time Irish Hero: Tyler Eifert

In 2009 a 6-foot 6 pass catching athlete from just down the road from South Bend in Fort Wayne, Indiana made the choice to attend Notre Dame. Tyler Eifert was rated as a 3-star prospect at tight end and was viewed as something of an afterthought by most recruiting services in head coach Charlie Weis’s last Notre Dame recruiting class. That “afterthought” went on to a record setting career. During his freshman year his career looked to be over due to a back injury, but he underwent successful surgery and got his career back on track. As a Sophomore, Eifert worked his way up the depth chart on Brian Kelly’s first team. He then emerged when star tight end Kyle Rudolph suffered a season ending injury. Eifert took advantage of this opportunity and became the starter after Rudolph went down. Eifert stepped right in and started the last 7 games. He piled up 27 receptions good for 352 yards and 2 touchdowns. As a full-time starter he went on to huge seasons his next two years. 67 catches for 803 yards and 5 TDs his junior year and 50 catches for 685 yards and 4 TDs his senior year. He earned all-American accolades both years and was presented the Mackey Award as the nation’s outstanding tight end in 2012, and served as a team Captain. Eifert was an 1st round (21st overall) pick of the Cincinnati Bengals in the 2013 draft. His pro career has been limited by injuries, but when playing he has enjoyed great success, including a 615-yard, 13 touchdown effort in 2015 that earned him All-Pro honors. In some ways Eifert redefined the tight end position at Notre Dame because of his versatility. He could play attached or unattached and when a passed ball got anywhere close to him he displayed viselike hands. His 803 yards receiving in 2011 and 1840 total yards in his career are both school records for the tight end position. For his record setting career from 2009-2012, Tyler Eifert is an All-Time Irish Hero.

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