The Notre Dame football team is getting another two sport start to give up their second sport to focus their attention to the gridiron this spring. Rising junior Cole Kmet, a potential breakout player, decided to focus on football only this spring after experiencing some elbow soreness after his last appearance for the Irish baseball team.
While the elbow soreness has temporarily put baseball on hold, it has not slowed down Cole Kmet on the football field this spring. With Alize Mack headed to the NFL and a starting role squarely in his sights, Kmet has been thriving this spring leaving many to believe the tight end position might once again be a weapon for the Irish.
Count Brian Kelly as one of those looking to get the tight end position going again with Kmet. “He’s gonna catch a lot of footballs,” Kelly said on Saturday. “He’ll be a guy we’ll actually game plan and certainly look at how he touches the football each week. We didn’t do that last year.”
Kmet is the odds on favorite to start as the top tight end for the Irish this fall. In fact, Kmet is believed to be so far ahead that it isn’t even really considered to be a competition at the moment. Brock Wright has slimmed down and made some strides but he’s vying for the second tight end role along with rising sophomore Tommy Tremble.
This is obviously great news for Notre Dame – at least on the football field as they’ll miss Kmet on the diamond. It is no secret that Notre Dame has not utilized the tight end position in recent years the way Notre Dame had become accustomed to doing. Alize Mack flashed at times the last two years, but the position was not the weapon it once was or the weapon Notre Dame hopes it will become with Kmet in 2019.
With an accurate quarterback like Ian Book, a tight end like Kmet should be able to put up monster numbers. There’s been a buzz around Kmet since he arrived on campus that he can be the type of tight end to put up those numbers. In 2018 though he caught just 15 passes for 162 yards and his next touchdown will be the first of his career.
Notre Dame is also working with Ian Book on taking more chances specifically down the middle of the field this year. That is an area in which Kmet could thrive given his skillset and profile. Now he just needs to put it all together because the opportunity is there for the taking.
At this time Kmet hasn’t ruled out playing baseball again in 2020. For now though, it’s all football.
Kmet is the second two sport start to spur their second sport to concentrate on football only this spring. Rising sophomore wide receiver Braden Lenzy decided to skip track to focus on football as well. The move is reportedly paying off for Lenzy. Brian Kelly raved about his toughness over the weekend and reports are that Lenzy looks ready to put his track speed to use on the football field after sitting out last fall.
Having both Lenzy and Kmet dedicated solely to football this spring is a very positive develop for the Irish offense as they look to take the next step towards becoming an elite unit in 2019.