Cole Kmet didn’t spend all spring preparing for his only summer football camp.
Instead the four-star tight end from Arlington Heights, Ill., played for the St. Viator High School baseball team. Kmet traded touchdowns for home runs. Irish Invasion crept up right at the end of baseball season, giving Kmet about a week to flip back into football mode.
Kmet briefly considered not working out at all. But then he heard fellow Irish commitment Avery Davis, a four-star quarterback, would be participating. That clinched Kmet’s decision.
“I actually wasn’t going to work out just coming off of baseball,” Kmet said. “But I found out Avery was gonna workout. I was kinda like, ‘OK, now I have to because Avery is gonna be throwing the ball.’ I think that was the biggest thing, just being able to throw with him. That was the biggest factor.”
Turns out it didn’t take long for Kmet to shake the rust. He turned in one of the best performances at camp, consistently beating defenders for reception after reception.
“I felt pretty good,” Kmet said. “It’ll be my first and last camp for the summer. But I felt pretty good only coming off a week from baseball. I did think I worked out pretty well. I caught most of the passes thrown to me.”
Coming back to town for Irish Invasion also gave Kmet an opportunity to connect with some other commitments in person for the first time.
He and Davis had never met outside social media and text messaging. Same goes for four-star linebacker Pete Werner and four-star safety Isaiah Roberts, a fellow Chicagoland native. They’ll likely cross paths more and more once the season begins and they reconvene in South Bend for home games.
“It was pretty cool,” Kmet said. “It was my first time meeting Avery in person, meeting Pete in person and meeting Isaiah in person. That was pretty cool to just get to talk to them face-to-face. We were all comfortable with each other. We’ve all been keeping in touch with each other on social media and texting.”
Now with his only visit of the summer complete, Kmet turns his attention back to preparation for the coming season. He’ll work out with his team on the field and in the weight room during the week.
One of the things Kmet is working on the most is blocking. The 6-foot-6, 240-pound prospect sees plenty of room for growth in that area.
“Definitely my in-line blocking and still continuing to work on my routes,” Kmet said. “But definitely my in-line blocking for the most part. It’s just repetitions. Working on my reach blocks, down blocks, all that stuff. It’s just a lot of repetitions and getting my form down.”