Will he stay or will he go? That's the question asked by Notre Dame fans when talking about junior tight end Kyle Rudolph. Despite missing a large part of the season, Rudolph, is considered one of the top tight end prospects and could opt to leave the program a year early. With that said, we look at the remaining tight ends and the future at the position.
Where The Program Stands Now
Set To Leave Program At End Of Season
Bobby Burger – Senior (more of an H-Back).
Set To Return
Tyler Eifert – Sophomore
Jake Golic – Sophomore
Mike Ragone – Senior ** Has a year remaining most fully expect Ragone to return for a fifth season.
Kyle Rudolph – Junior
Alex Welch – Freshman
All eyes are on Kyle Rudolph and his decision to stay another season in South Bend or take his chances with the NFL. While there are questions about Rudolph's ability to show his talents to the pros, he still projects as one of the top tight end in this spring's draft if he makes the choice to leave.
Shuffle The Deck
While Ragone must still go through the process of getting approval for a fifth season, many feel he will be asked back and if so he will provide a solid player.
Eifert pulled down 23 balls for 321 yards and 2 touchdowns and is just scratching the surface of his talents. Golic and Welch will need to continue their growth at the position and the spring will be important for Golic to take the next steps.
Recruiting In 2011
The Irish wanted one tight end and got the one they wanted in Ben Koyack (Oil City, PA). The 6-foot-5, 230-pound Koyack has the skill set Brian Kelly wants from the position and should be expected to fight for early on field time depending upon Rudolph's return.
Only one other tight end remains on the Irish recruiting board and no one expects Jerell Adams to visit or the Irish to make contact. Koyack is their guy and will be the only tight end.