Mitchell Evans: Notre Dame’s star tight end ready for breakout in 2024

Notre Dame's Mitchell Evans, ranked second-best returning TE by PFF, aims for a breakout 2024 season if he can stay healthy and injury-free.
Former Notre Dame football offensive coordinator Gerad Parker with a teaching moment with Mitchell Evans
Former Notre Dame football offensive coordinator Gerad Parker with a teaching moment with Mitchell Evans / John Mersits / USA TODAY NETWORK

There's a reason Notre Dame is known as Tight End U. Over the last two decades, the Fighting Irish have churned out some of the best to play at the position. 2024 isn't going to be any different.

Notre Dame has plenty of talent at TE this year. However, Mitchell Evans is head and shoulders the leader of the group. Coincidently, Evans isn't just seen as the best tight end in South Bend. Pro Football Focus (PFF) believes he's right near the top of the tight ends in the sport.

"Evans was playing like one of the best tight ends in the country before a torn ACL ended his season after just eight games. Before going down though, his 422 receiving yards stood fourth among all tight ends in the nation. The only ones who had more were ,  and . All three are among the top-five tight end prospects on PFF’s 2024 NFL Draft big board. Evans’ 10 forced missed tackles in that span trailed only Bowers among FBS tight ends as well."

Mitchell Evans poised for a standout season despite past injuries

That scouting report has PFF ranking Evans as the second best returning tight end in college football.

Max Chadwick of PFF also made it clear that injury concerns are front and center. However, if Evans is healthy as he's expected to be. Chadwick thinks the tight end teaming up with Riley Leonard is going to be an impressive duo.

"As long as he can regain his pre-injury form, Evans should be the ultimate security blanket for new quarterback Riley Leonard next year."

Anyone watching Notre Dame football for very long knows that Evans has been plagued with injuries over the course of his career. However, if he can avoid those kinds of problems in 2024, it should be the kind of breakout that will see him rocket up draft boards.