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Notre Dame football fans have been aware of the talent level that Fighting Irish tight end Tyler Eifert possess for some time. Entering his final season in South Bend, he is being recognized nationally for his ability.
Eifert was named to the John Mackey Award Preseason Watch List on Tuesday. The award is given annually to the most outstanding collegiate tight end.
The Bishop Dwenger High School graduate is the lone returning 2011 Mackey Award finalist on the list.
He led all tight ends in the Football Bowl Subdivision with 63 receptions and 803 receiving yards last season. Eifert broke Notre Dame's record for most catches and receiving yards in a season by a tight end.
In 2011, Eifert was named first-team All-American by the Walter Camp Football Foundation, second-team All-American by the Associated Press and third-team All-American by both Rivals.com and Phil Steele.
Eifert is also in contention for the Maxwell Award, which is awarded to college football's outstanding player regardless of position. He is the lone tight end nominated.
Entering his senior year, Eifert has 90 receptions for 1,155 yards. He is tied with Kyle Rudolph for the fourth-most catches in a career by a Notre Dame tight end and ranks second all-time in receiving yards by a Fighting Irish tight end.
Eifert needs 39 receptions and 605 receiving yards to break Ken MacAfee's school records for career catches and career receiving yards by a Notre Dame tight end.