• Phil Houk

Cole Kmet: All-Time Irish Hero

Updated: Dec 13, 2020

By: Phil Houk of Fighting Irish Preview

6-6, 262 pound, Cole Kmet, a Chicago area kid had an outstanding senior season at St. Viator Catholic High school in 2016 and was rated a 4-star recruit. At ND, he got into every game as a Freshman in 2017 but was rarely targeted, then in 2018 playing behind Alize Mack, Durham Smythe and Nick Weisher, he started to make his presence known. 15 catches on the year and the way seemed paved for a breakout in his Junior year. Slated to be the top TE option for the Irish, the excitement built around the program that Kmet would emerge as another in a long list of great Notre Dame tight ends. And then the news dropped just 3 weeks before the 2019 season opener that Kmet had suffered a broken collarbone in practice. Kmet though took the setback in stride and within days of the injury he was back in non-contact drills. Then, on September 21, just 40 days after the injury, he was in the starting lineup at #3 Georgia. That evening, despite a close loss by the Irish, turned into the Cole Kmet show. On the first drive of the game he had three catches and, on the night, he finished with a 9 catch 108-yard, 1 TD tally.

For the11-2, 2019 season, Kmet went on to a 43 catch 515-yard 6 TD effort. Kmet’s decision to go to the NFL at this point was complicated by the fact that he was also an outstanding baseball player. He had led the Irish in saves as a freshman relief pitcher, had an intimidating presence on the mound, and had a likely future in professional baseball. In fact early in his ND career, Kmet sought the advice of the great Jeff Samardzija, also a two-sport star at ND, on how to manage his time.

When it came out however that he was projected as the number one rated tight end in the 2020 draft, the decision became an easy one. Cole Kmet was selected 43rd overall by the Chicago Bears.

On October 18th of this year, Kmet caught his first NFL TD pass against the Carolina Panthers.

About the only thing wrong with Cole Kmet is that his career at ND for a couple of reasons was just too short.

Cole Kmet had a short, but impactful career at Notre Dame and he is an All-Time Irish Hero.

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