Notre Dame 99-to-2: No. 85 George Takacs, tight end
Listed Measurements: 6-foot-6, 255 pounds.2019-20 year, eligibility: A sophomore, Takacs has all four seasons of eligibility remaining, including 2019, after taking a traditional redshirt last year.Depth chart: Notre Dame has four tight ends on the roster, and Takacs is presumably the fourth among them.Recruiting: A rivals.com four-star recruit, U.S. Army All-American and No. 15 tight end in the class, Takacs spurned the likes of Georgia, Wisconsin and his homestate Florida to choose the Irish.
CAREER TO DATE
A meniscus tear reduced the benefits of Takacs’ early enrollment, but the injury was not the reason he spent his freshman season on the sidelines. That traced to the number of talented tight ends ahead of Takacs: current juniors Cole Kmet and Brock Wright along with Alizé Mack and Nic Weishar.
That depth ahead of Takacs also kept him out of mind for the last year. There is nothing wrong with that, simply a reality of how conversations go.
He was discussed, obviously, when Irish offensive coordinator Chip Long pondered the 2018 recruiting class on National Signing Day in February of 2018.
“George is already here doing a great job,” Long said. “... The good thing I got to see this year with George, though, is he was split out wide and did a lot of good things in the passing game.”
WHAT WAS PROJECTED A YEAR AGO
“Long’s praise of Takacs’ ability in the passing game indicates the tight end may be more of a complete player than he was originally recruited to be. On the surface, Takacs looks to be the successor to Wright as an attached tight end, strengthening the Notre Dame running game.
“If he can do both that and catch passes, even if only short routes in the flat or on bootlegs, Takacs will fit right into Long’s multiple tight end schemes. Those formations make it so every tight end on the Irish roster matters. Three rotate in frequently, making the fourth tight end actually within the two-deep depth chart. When fifth-year Nic Weishar runs out of eligibility and senior Alizé Mack ponders the NFL, Takacs will be that fourth tight end, at the absolute least, with classmate Tommy Tremble the third tight end, especially if he sees action this year while Takacs reaches full health.”
Takacs should see action this season, but probably not much. Notre Dame will lean on Kmet and Wright in multiple tight end packages, and sophomore Tommy Tremble is ahead of Takacs in the passing game, earning more notice this spring though Takacs was the one to catch a 10-yard pass in the Blue-Gold Game (a first-quarter throw from sophomore quarterback Phil Jurkovec).
Perhaps that will not be the only chance for a Jurkovec-to-Takacs connection in 2019. The Irish should manage a blowout or two this season — just as a point of context, S&P+ rankings project five victories by 19 points or more — and those would give Jurkovec a chance to find competitive comfort, presumably with some backups flanking him.
DOWN THE ROAD
Takacs fits into more the Wright role than the Kmet aspect, the line-attached blocker rather than the downfield receiver. Tremble has more speed and is more natural in the passing game, while Takacs should be able to set the edge and present a sizable target in checkdowns for an Irish quarterback, whomever that is in 2020 or even 2021.
A significant role may have to wait until 2021, since both Kmet and Wright have two years of eligibility remaining. That is part of Notre Dame’s larger plan, given the coaching staff passed up signing any tight ends in the most-recent recruiting class.
NOTRE DAME 99-to-2:
No. 95: Myron Tagovailoa-Amosa, defensive tackle
No. 94: Darnell Ewell, defensive tackle
No. 91: Ade Ogundeji, defensive end
No. 90: Hunter Spears, defensive tackle, early-enrolled consensus four-star
No. 89: Brock Wright, tight end
No. 88: Javon McKinley, receiver
No. 87: Michael Young, receiver