Blue and Gold Illustrated

Oct. 7, 2013 Issue

Blue & Gold Illustrated: America's Foremost Authority on Notre Dame Football

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irish in the pros Tyler Eifert Catches On In Cincinnati By Andrew Owens T yler Eifert is one of the few players who knew exactly when his first NFL catch would arrive. The reception did not result in much: a pedestrian three-yard gain on the first play of the Cincinnati Bengals' season opener in Chicago, but it represented much more for the former Irish tight end. The Fort Wayne, Ind., product entered Notre Dame as a three-star prospect and the 20th-ranked tight end according to 247Sports, but emerged as one of the most versatile players at his position in the country by the time the Bengals selected him 21st overall in the NFL Draft. In his first three games, the rookie snared nine receptions for 120 yards. "We script the opening play, so I knew I had a good chance of getting the ball on that play," Eifert told Blue & Gold Illustrated. "I just didn't want to mess it up and [I wanted to] get the first catch out of the way so you don't have to think, 'Am I ever going to catch a ball?'" With the Bengals playing in Chicago once and Cincinnati twice in the season's first three weeks, Eifert said family and friends have attended each of his professional games as the tight end enjoys the ride — and the extra time on his hands. "It's been fun," he said. "It's been a really good experience so far and I'm Eifert hauled in nine receptions for 120 yards in his first three games with the Bengals. photo courtesy cincinnati bengals still kind of learning on the fly, learning new things every game and really enjoying it. "I'd say managing the free time [has been the biggest adjustment]. You don't have to go to class so you can spend a little bit more time with the playbook and getting extra lifting in and things like that. I just try to figure out a schedule to make that extra time useful." Tight end Jermaine Gresham —

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