Those who follow Notre Dame probably felt like Tyler Eifert earning the John Mackey Award was simply a matter of time. Well, that time has come.
On Wednesday, the Fighting Irish senior earned the honor, which is awarded to the nation's best tight end.
Eifert will be presented with the award on Thursday during the Home Depot College Football Awards Red Carpet Show at 6:30 p.m. on ESPNU. The Bishop Dwenger High School graduate will also be honored at the 2013 Discover BCS National Championship Game in South Florida on January 7.
"Sometimes at the tight end position you get labeled as either a pass catcher or a run blocker, and (Eifert) has broken that mold," Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly said last month. "He lines up as a wide receiver. He's lines up attached as a run blocker and a pass protector, because we all knew one thing that he had: He could catch the football."
Eifert recorded 44 receptions for 624 yards and four touchdowns this season, while leading Notre Dame to the Discover BCS National Championship Game. In addition to the Mackey Award, he has also already been named second-team All American by Walter Camp and CBS Sports.
"I think it's a combination of a guy that understands Notre Dame, understands the value of a great education, and wanted to be on a championship football team," Kelly said. "I think he epitomizes in terms of what we look for as a Notre Dame football player."
During his career, Eifert has totaled 134 receptions, 1,779 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns in his career, which made him the all-time career leader in receptions and receiving yards by a Notre Dame tight end.
The John Mackey Award is given to the collegiate tight end who best exemplifies the play, sportsmanship, academics, and community values of NFL Hall of Fame Tight End John Mackey. The 2012 John Mackey Award recipient was determined by confidential balloting of the John Mackey Selection Committee.