Harvey Levine/FOS

Elite tight end sets Irish return

Four-star junior tight end Zack Kuntz attended the Blue-Gold Game this spring and plans to return to South Bend this fall for a game. Kuntz is ranked as the nation’s No. 3 tight end in the recruiting class of 2018.

Notre Dame recruiting target Zack Kuntz has had a big month.

The 6-foot-7 ½, 215-pound junior tight end from Camp Hill, Pa., was named to the Scout 300 for the recruiting class of 2018 and recently visited Alabama. He’ll close out the summer with a weekend visit to Ohio State for the Buckeyes’ Friday Night Lights camp.

After that, Kuntz will turn his attention to his junior season.

“Things are going great right now,” he said. “I just got back from Alabama. I had a good time down there. It was a long trip down but it was definitely worth it. This Friday I'm going up to Ohio State for the weekend. I don't really have anything planned after that.”

Kuntz, who attended the Blue-Gold Game in April, will return to South Bend on Sept. 24 for Notre Dame’s game against Duke.

He remains in close contact with Irish assistant coach Harry Hiestand.

“I really just call him to check in with him and keep in touch to let him know how I'm doing and how the summer is going,” Kuntz said. “I haven't really been doing too much this summer so the conversation has just been, 'Keep up the good work and hopefully we get to see you.'”

Kuntz, who now holds 14 scholarship offers, is ranked as the No. 3 tight end in the nation and the 67th best prospect overall in the Class of 2018. In addition to Notre Dame, offers are in from Alabama, Michigan, Ohio State, Penn State, Florida State and Nebraska.

The offers help to keep him motivated to work hard and improve his game.

“It’s definitely helpful,” he said of the offers. “There's less stress going into it but it also adds a lot more because you want to make sure you're performing to the best of your ability every game and every play. Just to know that you have eyes on you and people are going to be gunning for you is good motivation.”

He also plans to use the Scout rankings to challenge himself to get better on a daily basis.

“That's definitely exciting,” he said. “I try not to look too much into that stuff and stay level-headed and play my game. I know where I'm at with schools. The rankings are fun to look at but I'm just going to be picking just one school, whichever school is best for me, and that's what I'm really focused on.”

Kuntz said he’s beginning to form a short list but he isn’t ready to identify the schools that have caught his early attention.

“I haven’t really made a defined list or picked any top schools but I am kind of seeing some schools are better than others for my personal interest,” he said.


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