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Notre Dame 99-to-0: No. 88 Mitchell Evans, sophomore tight end

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Measurements listed: 6 ft 5 ⅛, 250 lbs.
2022-23 Eligibility: Sophomore Evans has three seasons of eligibility left after appearing in every 2021 Notre Dame game.
Depth Chart: The combination of other people’s injuries and his own successful rookie season make Evans a fairly clear number 2 in the Irish depth chart, behind the star junior, of course. Michael Mayer. The next three names on the depth chart suffered leg injuries in 2021, and while they should be healthy this fall, they naturally fall behind as a result.
Recruiting: Evans, who finished 26th in the class of 2021, turned down offers from the states of Iowa, Michigan and Pittsburgh, choosing Notre Dame.

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One of the most idiotic aspects of NIL restrictions in the past was that players couldn’t profit from kid-friendly camps. If Evans had put his name on the camp to greet youth from his hometown in Ohio learning about football, that would have been a violation. Calling this win-win option illegal was the epitome of NCAA idiocy.

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Fortunately, this is no longer the case.

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Evans played every game as a freshman, but did not usually play on the bottom. However, he made two catches for 21 yards, both rushing.

Michael Mayer praising Evans extensively and then pointing out that he needs to continue his spring work on improving his blocking could give you, the reader, an idea of ​​Evans’ current position in the program, but frankly, Mayer’s words were not far from a template. New Irish Tough Ends Coach Just Parker Saying things like this with an emphasis on recognizing the pattern of the line of defense, you can understand how much Parker is focused on details, but this is not too much to predict the long-term potential of Evans.

RELATED READING: “Natural” runner Mitchell Evans should now thrive inside

Rather, the best quote about Evans and what could have been comes from an exchange in the Scott Stadium press box when Notre Dame blew up Virginia in November, an anecdote that leads to this article by Tim O’Malley from irish illustrated, an anecdote passed now with 98 percent certainty as to who the two reporters in question were, the two smartest minds of the Irish bit.

When Evans caught an eight-yard pass late on that route…

Reporter #1: “Why is Mayer still in the game?”
Reporter #2: “This is Evans.”

“Spending this first year learning the ins and outs of the tight end, from route running to passing pass to run blocking, Evans will have a good time despite his impressive performance in the spring finals.

“Mayer provides Notre Dame with this luxury, perhaps more than ever, which says something about Tight End U. …

“Mayer will go to the NFL after the 2022 season and by then Takach will be gone. But Rhys still prefers to use tight ends a lot – a holdover from his most successful playing days – and the Irish will still have plenty of those on the roster.

“Then Evans will get his chance, but he will have to earn something more. Between Bauman, Burrong and a couple of tough commitments from last week, Notre Dame will have a slew of highly publicized options. Evans may be the lowest among them when it comes to hire rates.

“It’s understandable considering he was a quarterback in high school. So these recruiter rankings are by no means judging Evans for not moving up in the depth rankings in the future. But he has a lot of work to do to make it happen.”

Rhys will always enjoy tight sets, especially when the Irish are as weak in receivers as they are now. Evans can’t match Mayer – no tight end outside of Georgia can – but by acting as a complementary element, he’ll help Notre Dame offensively as needed.

Partly it will be a blocking of the run, and to some extent the return of the coach of the offensive line. Harry Hystand should help Evans there. Hystand won’t spend much time on bottlenecks, but any advice he offers will help them. With the Irish most likely to be leaning towards running in 2022, these incremental improvements could prove to be decisive.

This may be Evans’ most valuable contribution in 2022. If he can be as capable of blocking runs as he is of catching passes, even if both are only slightly above average rather than excellent, then Rhys could stay in two tight matches. terminate packets without informing the other side of the defense about their intentions. In that respect, even a season with 8 catches, 122 yards and 1 touchdown from Evans will bode well.

Junior Kevin Bauman should be healthy in 2022, and Evans’ classmate Kane Burrong should also recover quickly from a torn anterior cruciate ligament. Their absence before the 2021 close and the associated restrictions this spring gave Evans an edge in the short term, but a year from now it will be a distant memory.

In addition, incoming freshmen Eli Reardon and Holden Stace sooner or later both will be included in Rees’ plans.

Suffice to say, Evans is going to miss out on the job if he wants to be the next face of Tight End U. He’s most likely career #2, albeit at Notre Dame, which sometimes leads to the NFL. project selection. (See: fourth round Durham Smythe in 2018 and in the seventh round Ben Koyak in 2015)

If this does become a reality, Evans could continue to improve over the next two seasons, eventually being passed by Burrong or Rearidon in the depth table and then moving on with the remaining season of eligibility, not to mention the Notre Dame degree. This path will look like George Takach‘, although it is ahead of this pace by several years.

From Blake Groupe to Braden Lenzi, the off-season countdown begins anew
No. 99 Blake Group, kicker, transfer of the State of Arkansas
No. 99 Riley Mills, junior guard, player who now plays more in the end.

#98 Tyson Ford, early freshman, quarterback hired as a four-star endgame.
No. 97 Gabriel Rubio, sophomore, quarterback, still “wide like a Volkswagen.”
No. 92 Aidan Keanaaina, a young defender who tore his cruciate ligament in March.
#91 Josh Bryan Sophomore Kicker
#91 Aiden Gobaira, Freshman Early Enrollment Guard, Four-Star Recruit
No. 90 Alexander Ehrensberger, junior defender, the German project is nearing completion.
#89 Eli Raridon Rookie Freshman Tight End with an ACL tear.


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