Fighting Irish Juniors snub NFL in favor of Senior year
By: Jason O'Mahony | Published Monday, January 16, 2012, 8:30 AM | Updated Monday, January 16, 2012, 8:30 AM
|Eifert joins Te'o in returning to ND for Senior season.|
When the Irish head to Ireland next September to take on the Naval Academy season, they’ll have their two best senior leaders with them. With Manti Te’o already set to return for his senior season and lead the Irish defense, it now looks like All-American tight end Tyler Eifert will be there with him to take charge of the offense.
After considering a move to the NFL after his junior year, Eifert has decided to return for his senior season, according to reports from both IrishIllustrated.com and the Chicago Tribune.
“He’s really come around and wants to come back,” Eifert’s father Greg told Pete Sampson of IrishIllustrated.com. “He wants to come back, get bigger, get stronger and get to a BCS bowl next year.”
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Eifert has actually got two years of eligibility remaining after a back injury kept him out of action his freshman season. But after a breakout season that saw Eifert put up the most statistically impressive year of any tight end in the country, the Irish will be just fine with one more year for the record-breaking tight end from Fort Wayne, Indiana.
Eifert reportedly received a third-round grade from the NFL’s advisory board, not all that surprising given the limited body of work Eifert has at Notre Dame. Entering his sophomore year, Eifert was an unknown entity, sitting his freshman season with a back injury that many thought could threaten his career
Eifert can certainly help raise his draft stock this season by improving his physicality and in-line blocking skills, two areas that lack compared to the tight end’s ability to make plays in space.
His return also pokes holes in a ludicrous speculation that there’s some kind of schism between the head coach and players from the previous coaching regime, with three All-American caliber players returning to school when the NFL was clearly ready for them.