On a day in which the bad news was about as bad as it gets for Notre Dame’s Class of 2018, 6-foot-7, 236-pound tight end George Takacs eased the pain with a verbal commitment to the Fighting Irish.
Earlier in the day, speedy Oregon wideout Braden Lenzy, an early verbal commitment to the Irish, stayed true to his roots when he de-committed from Notre Dame and jumped on board with the home-state Ducks.
Takacs doesn’t compensate for the speed lost in the “exchange,” but he’s a solid building block for Chip Long’s tight-end friendly offense. Takacs will join current freshmen Brock Wright and Cole Kmet to form the future of the tight end position at Notre Dame.
Takacs – Scout’s No. 14 tight end prospect with Notre Dame/Indiana ties – chose the Irish over Florida, Georgia and Wisconsin.
When you look at Takacs, one can’t help but think of Troy Niklas, an offensive tackle/tight end prospect out of Anaheim, Calif. six years ago.
Niklas had more upside with a body that was approaching NFL-level upon his arrival at Notre Dame. He also had more versatility with the ability to play on either side of the football. (Niklas played outside linebacker his first year at Notre Dame before moving to tight end.) But the frames are similar and the aggressiveness is comparable.
Takacs is built in the mode of the long Stanford tight ends without some of the downfield ability the Cardinal tight ends bring to the equation.
In Takacs, the Irish are getting a long, willing, aggressive blocker with the size to make a living in the passing game on flat and drag routes. His length allows him to “post up” 10 yards upfield, using his body to shield linebackers from breaking up the pass.
His background is mostly as an attached tight end, but he also lines up in a two-point stance in the slot and a two-point stance on the outside shoulder of the tackle.
Takacs is not a downfield receiving threat per se. His good feet and length make him an up-the-seam target, but he’ll be most effective working the underneath routes against linebackers, who will have difficulty mitigating his length. He is an on-the-ground, chain-moving tight end. He uses his hands effectively to free himself up in short spaces. After the catch in traffic, he’ll wrap two arms around the football.
Takacs enjoys the blocking process. He has quick, active feet and will scramble his way against an edge defender by utilizing his length. He’ll lunge at times because of his aggressiveness, but by and large, he breaks down well, widens his base and makes himself difficult to get around with a proactive blocking approach.
He has to be careful not to latch on to defenders as he begins to lose leverage. Once he adds more strength – upper and lower body – he’ll be better equipped to ward off blockers as opposed to the tendency to clutch defenders.
The Irish had an advantage in recruiting Takacs, who grew up a Notre Dame fan. His mother earned a post-undergraduate degree from Notre Dame, and his grandparents live in Indiana. Translation: Takacs won’t be a kid who changes his verbal commitment. A bonus: He wants to be a spring semester enrollee in 2018.
Takacs will join committed Irish prospects Jayson Ademilola, Derrick Allen, Ja’mion Franklin and Ovie Oghoufo at The Opening in Oregon next month. That gives five Notre Dame commits a chance to work on Irish recruits such as Kevin Austin, Chase Cota, Houston Griffith, Jack Lamb, Cam McGrone, P.J. Mustipher, Shayne Simon and Amon-Ra St. Brown, all of whom will be at The Opening.
Takacs is not a difference-maker per se at the tight end position. But he’s a combo tight end who gives the Irish a solid, legitimate, four-star building block for the future with Wright and Kmet.