Notre Dame football: Top 5 to play tight end in school history

4. Tyler Eifert (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
4. Tyler Eifert (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images) /
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tight end at Notre Dame
Kyle Rudolph(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

Part of being “Tight End U,” means that you have had a lot of great players play tight end throughout history. This, unfortunately, also means that a lot of excellent players weren’t able to make the list of top 5 tight ends in Notre Dame history.

Here are a few of those great tight ends that didn’t quite make this list.

In the 21st century, Kyle Rudolph was a notable exception. The stud of a tight end had 90 catches and 8 touchdowns over three seasons at Notre Dame. That time was shortened due to injury, however, and those teams weren’t very good. This led to a lack of accolades to get onto the list itself.

John Carlson was another great tight end of the modern era. A second-team All-American and Mackey Award finalist, Carlson put up monster numbers in South Bend. By major numbers, I mean 100 catches and 8 touchdowns for his career. Anthony Fasano came from that same era and had 92 catches and 8 touchdowns over the course of his own career.

It wasn’t too long before that line of great tight ends that players like Irv Smith were playing for Notre Dame. Smith only had 28 catches over the course of his time at Notre Dame, but he was a dominant blocker and key member of the offense during Lou Holtz’s tenure.

Smith’s time at Notre Dame overlapped with Derek Brown. Brown was the highlight on offense during this time and was also a member of the 1988 National Championship season. Over the course of his career he had 62 catches, for 899 yards, and 8 touchdowns over the course of his career.

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Around a decade prior to Brown and Smith, Tony Hunter made his name as the Notre Dame tight end. Hunter was an excellent receiving tight end, who had 120 catches during his time at Notre Dame. As Hunter’s time at Notre Dame ended, Mark Bavaro’s kicked off. Bavaro dealt with injuries in the early part of his career but took off once he got healthy. An All-American, Bavaro had 55 catches, 771 yards, and 5 touchdowns over the two seasons he was healthy enough to play in the offense.