Cole Kmet will use Irish Invasion as a reintroduction.
Many other prospects set to compete at Notre Dame on Saturday have spent spring on the camp circuit. Kmet didn’t do the same. Instead, the four-star tight end from Arlington Heights, Ill., played baseball with his St. Viator High School squad.
Only in the last week has Kmet transitioned back into offseason football mode. Other than some light practices at school, Irish Invasion will be his first major work.
“I want to just continue to improve my route running,” Kmet said. “Really it’s improve my speed, route running and catching ability, blocking, all that stuff. Then being a good teammate, coming out to practice and all that stuff.”
Returning to South Bend will also mark an anniversary.
Kmet worked out at Irish Invasion last year as well. He was part of a loaded tight end group that included fellow commitment Brock Wright, ranked as the top tight end nationally, and four-star prospect Matt Dotson.
Wright already held an offer at the time and committed to Notre Dame within a week. Kmet had to wait a little bit longer before pledging last fall.
“Leading up to the camp I was really excited and obviously a little nervous,” Kmet said. “I really wanted to do well. I did do really well but you never really know until they tell you about the offer. It was like four or five days I had to wait to hear from them. I think it was that Saturday they would have me give them a call then that got switched, pushed back to Monday. I was a little scared there but it ended up being all good.”
Kmet now has the benefit of working out without the added pressure of trying to score an important scholarship offer.
One of the highlights will likely be working out with four-star quarterback commitment Avery Davis, who’s expected to be in attendance. Kmet and Davis, who’s from Cedar Hill, Texas, have kept in touch but camp will be their first opportunity to share the same field.
“I think it’ll be a lot of fun,” Kmet said. “It’ll be cool for me and for him. I was talking to Brock and I know he wants to be out there but won’t be able to. He said he’s a little jealous of me. But it’ll be fun to get to play catch with him and run around.”
Wright will be at home in Texas competing in 7-on-7 with his high school team.
Kmet, Davis and the other commitments will also shift into recruiter mode with dozens of prospects planning to attend. Several are high profile, giving Kmet an opportunity to pitch Notre Dame as their eventual college choice.
It’s a role Kmet continues to embrace.
“It’s different from being recruited,” Kmet said. “You’re now trying to sell the program you’re gonna be going into the next couple years. You have to have them buy into what you’re trying to say. You really want to build your class. I think Josh (Lugg) has done a good job of it, really staying on people and talking to people. Daily talk is good for anybody to build relationships.”null