With Chip Long as the Offensive Coordinator and the Tight Ends coach, many expected a lot from this group. But, the Tight Ends failed to live up to the expectations set forth by those inside and outside the program.
Discussion of multiple Tight End sets and the return of Junior Alize Mack made many believe that this group would be the story of the 2017 season.
Immediately, Nic Weishar caught 3 passes for 20 with touchdown against Temple. It looked as if the Tight Ends would block and catch their way into the hearts of Irish fans everywhere.
But, for majority of the 2017 season, these players only blocked well. Fifth-year Senior Durham Smythe and Senior Nic Weishar blocked extremely well. They opened up many holes that lead to long runs for the Fighting Irish. Even Freshman Brock Wright and Cole Kmet got into the blocking action in short yardage situations.
In the passing game, the group failed to catch on fully. Smythe finished the season with 13 receptions for 234 yards. Mack, the “unstoppable receiver”, totaled 19 receptions for 166 yards.
In defense of the Tight Ends, several of their receptions helped move the chains in critical situations. Against Michigan State, a fantastic catch by Durham Smythe helped the Irish land a first down. Several times against North Carolina, Mack caught short passes that moved the sticks.