December 24, 2011

FSU preparing for Notre Dame TE Tyler Eifert

When talking about Notre Dame's offense the discussion is usually centered around dynamic racier Michael Floyd, and rightfully so. The 6-foot-3, 224-pound wideout leads the Fighting Irish in receptions (95), receiving yards (1,106), and touchdown catches (8).

Floyd certainly has the Florida State defense’s attention, but they also know he's not the only threat for the Fighting Irish in the passing game. Junior tight end Tyler Eifert is also someone that has caught the FSU defense’s attention.

In his first full season as a starter Eifert is second to only Floyd in every major receive category for Notre Dame. The Fort Wayne, Ind. Native has hauled in 57 catches for 713 yards and five touchdown.

"(Floyd’s) a really good player, but their tight end is a really good player now too," FSU head coach Jimbo Fisher said. "That’s the guy too who’s a really big time guy. You don’t hear as much about him. He’s 6-foot-6, 250, he’s got 57 catches and they throw it around a bunch."

Clemson tight end Dwayne Allen had a big day against FSU early in season (four catches for 67 yards and a touchdown), but FSU senior outside linebacker Nigel Bradham said he thinks Eifert may be better than Allen, and every other tight end he's seen this season for that matter.

"He’s probably going to be the best tight end that we’ve played against all year," Brdahm said of Eifert. "He's made some huge plays this whole season. When you watch him on film hes a great route runner as well as a great blocker."

Fisher said part of what makes Eifert unique is his ability to stretch the field as well as run underneath routes. Eifert is averaging a team-high 12.5 yards per catch this season.

"He's big, athletic, gets vertical, and has underneath skills and blocks well," Fisher said. "Some guys are underneath guys and not vertical guys, but he’s an underneath guy too."

FSU middle linebacker Vince Williams said one of the reasons Eifert has been so effective for Notre Dame this season is that they like to spread the field on offense with multiple receivers and try to get a mismatch between the tight end and a linebacker.

"They like to try get him matched up wit the linebackers, get him in one-on-one situations," Williams said. "He's a pretty good player and I think we're really going to have to focus on him."

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