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  Tommy Rees knows what an offense looks like when its go-to receiver plays tight end. When Rees was a junior quarterback for Notre Dame in 2012, tight end Tyler Eifert led the Irish in receiving yards (685), receiving touchdowns (4) and tied for the team high in receptions (50). So if tight end Michael Mayer becomes Notre Dame's best receiving option as a sophomore in 2021, the Irish offensive coordinator should know how to make that work. "I don't see why it should be any different in terms of being able to feature someone," Rees said Thursday following Notre Dame's 12th spring football practice. Even as a freshman, Mayer wasn't far off from being quarterback Ian Book's preferred target. He tied wide receiver Javon McKinley for a team-high 42 receptions but for significantly fewer yards (450 to 717) and one fewer touchdown (2 to 3).

An increased role for Mayer that results in him outgaining Notre Dame's wide receivers this season might not be a stretch, but it's far too early to predict how his production will stack up with the rest of Notre Dame's offense. That's because Rees is still working to identify the identity the offense will adapt in his second season as a play caller. What is clear, though, is that the 6-foot-5, 249-pound Mayer needs to be heavily involved. "For us, it's all about trying to isolate matchups for Mike," Rees said. "How do we get him in a situation where they cannot help? Where can we get him one-on-one? It really doesn't matter if it's a corner, then he's going to have a size advantage. If it's a safety or a linebacker, he's going to have an agility advantage. "We're going to do as many things as we can to try to isolate him where they can't help with a second player." - South Bend Tribune

Jr/2023 TE *Michael MayerNotre Dame
News Source: South Bend Tribune

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