The Irish offensive coordinator landed his second commitment from a tight end in the 2020 class on Sunday when four-star recruit Michael Mayer announced his ND pledge.
“Notre Dame really depicts what I wanted to do and go after,” Mayer said after sharing his commitment on Twitter. “That being Tight End U and one of the best academic schools, it really felt like the right fit for me.”
The 6-foot-5, 240-pound Mayer, a Park Hills (Ky.) Covington Catholic product, joined fellow four-star tight end Kevin Bauman in Notre Dame’s 2020 class. The class now includes three verbal commitments with four-star quarterback Drew Pyne the first to commit in April.
The Irish signed two tight ends each in the 2017 and 2018 classes. Long inherited commitments from four-star tight ends Brock Wright and Cole Kmet when he joined the Irish program in January 2017. Then Notre Dame added four-star tight end George Takacs and three-star tight end Tommy Tremble in the 2018 class.
With commitments from Bauman and Mayer in the 2020 class, the Irish could skip the 2019 class at tight end with only few offered targets remaining.
“Tight ends at Notre Dame, they play a lot of them,” Mayer said. “They can have one, two, three, four tight ends on the field at the same time. You have to be able to block. You have to be able to catch. You have to run after the catch. There are a bunch of things that I can do in the Notre Dame offense.”
Mayer became the first tight end to receive a Notre Dame offer in the 2020 class in December. He then made campus visits in January and June before picking the Irish.
Notre Dame beat out the likes of Alabama, Georgia, Ohio State, Penn State and Texas for Mayer.
“He’s big, athletic and has good hands,” said CBS Sports Network recruiting analyst Tom Lemming. “He’s one of the top three tight ends in the country for 2020. It’s too early to say he’s the best guy.”
247Sports slates Mayer as the No. 2 tight end in the 2020 class. Rivals ranks him No. 6 at the position.
It will be tight competition between Mayer and Bauman in the recruiting rankings. 247Sports slates Bauman as the No. 3 tight end. Rivals ranks him No. 2.
“Something that really excites me in the game of football is competition,” Mayer said. “Me and Kevin, we’re going to come in and battle it out. It’s definitely going to make both of us better.”
Long, who also coaches the tight end group, convinced Mayer he could be a valuable part of Notre Dame’s offense.
When Durham Smythe was drafted in the fourth round by the Miami Dolphins earlier this year, he became the fifth tight end to be drafted after playing for head coach Brian Kelly at Notre Dame. The Irish have a good chance of adding to that total in the near future.
“Penn State’s Linebacker U, USC was Running Back U and Notre Dame’s Tight End U,” Lemming said. “This year Notre Dame’s going to show it with Cole Kmet, Brock Wright and Alizé Mack. Notre Dame uses the tight ends a lot, and I imagine Chip’s going to be doing that a lot more this year.”