A pair of Notre Dame offensive weapons were named semifinalists for awards honoring the best player at their respective positions on Monday when junior tight end Tyler Eifert was named a semifinalist for the Mackey Award while wide receiver Michael Floyd earned the same distinction for the Biletnikoff Award.
Eifert, coming off his best performance of the season this past weekend with 8 catches for 83 yards and a touchdown, is a semifinalist for the award in his first full season as a starter for the Irish. So far this season the junior has hauled in 51 passes for 589 yards and 5 touchdowns and should easily finish this season with more catches and yards than John Carlson, Anthony Fasano, or Kylre Rudolph were ever able to record in a single season.
In fact, Eifert is already among elite company in terms of production from the tight end position. With four more catches, Efiert will break Ken McAfee’s school record for receptions in a season by a tight end. He also needs just 46 yards to pass John Carlson for the second most receiving yards in a single season by a tight end at Notre Dame and because bowl game stats count towards season stats, Eifert has an outside chance to break the Notre Dame single season receiving yards by a tight end record as well. To pass McAfee for that distinction, Eifert will need to wrack up 209 yards over the next three games.
Eifert compares very favorably compared to the other finalists. In fact, he has more receptions and yards than any of the other seven semifinalists so a strong close to the season and Eifert could very well find himself taking home some hardware this year. Speaking of the other semifinalists, they are:
- Dwayne Allen, Clemson
- Orson Charles, Georgia
- Drake Dunsmore, Northwestern
- Coby Fleener, Stanford
- Ladarius Green, Louisiana-Lafayette
- Jacob Pedersen, Wisconsin
- Nick Provo, Syracuse
Floyd has rewritten the Notre Dame receiving record book over the course of his career and owns almost every meaningful Notre Dame career receiving record. As a senior though, Floyd has actually had an up and down season. He’s recorded four 100 yard games and has scored 7 touchdowns, but he has also been held under 50 yards three times this season as well.
For the season, Floyd has 77 catches for 922 yards and the 7 scores and will set career records for receptions and yards this season, but will be hard pressed to top his 12 touchdowns from a season ago. While Floyd’s numbers are very strong, he will have a hard time overcoming the gaudy stats some of the other semifinalists have accumulated this year baring a huge end of the season over the next two weeks.
- Keenan Allen, Cal
- Justin Blackmon, Oklahoma State
- Patrick Edwards, Houston
- A.J. Jenkins, Illinois
- Sammy Watkins, Clemson
- Jordan White, Western Michigan
- Robert Woods, USC
- Kendall Wright, Baylor
Right now, Eifert has the much better chance of the two to take him their respective awards in a few weeks, but both players have turned in excellent seasons for Notre Dame this year and both will leave Notre Dame with their names mentioned among the best at their positions in school history.