Blue and Gold Illustrated

Nov. 23, 2015 Issue

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

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Page 106 of 113

IRISH IN THE PROS BY ANDREW OWENS W hat a difference a year makes. One year ago, former Irish tight end Tyler Eifert missed all but 11 min‑ utes of the 2014 season due to an el‑ bow injury. Now, he is a crucial piece for the 8‑0 Cincinnati Bengals. Through the first nine weeks of the NFL season, Eifert led the league in touchdown receptions — not New England tight end Rob Gronkowski, New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. or Atlanta wide receiver Julio Jones. After a three‑touchdown performance in a 31‑10 win over the Cleveland Browns Nov. 5, Eifert had nine receiving scores. Among Notre Dame's stellar "Tight End U" production from 2005‑13 — with names that include Anthony Fa‑ sano, John Carlson, Kyle Rudolph and Troy Niklas — Eifert appears poised for the most distinguished profes‑ sional career. "Oh my gosh — that guy," teammate and elite receiver A.J. Green told re‑ porters after the win over the Browns. "Tyler is a wide receiver trapped in a big body, because the way he runs routes and the way he's getting in and out of his breaks is unbelievable." This season, Eifert is embarrassing opposing defenses while valuing the opportunity to compete each week again. "Sometimes it can get overwhelm‑ ing, and you put a lot of pressure on yourself and almost forget to enjoy it," said Eifert, who had 37 receptions for Tyler Eifert Bursts Onto The Scene Eifert's three-touchdown performance in a 31-10 win over the Cleveland Browns Nov. 5 gave him an NFL- best nine receiving scores through eight games. PHOTO COURTESY CINCINNATI BENGALS

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