George Takacs Will Get His Shot In 2020

Bryan Driskell

Notre Dame has a somewhat unproven group of tight ends, but the unit is deep and loaded from a talented standpoint. Its an ideal situation for first-year position coach John McNulty, who has the kind of talent and depth to force great competition at the position. The depth chart at tight end is such that anyone that gets on the field needs to have earned it.

One player that will get a shot at earning more playing time in 2020 is rising junior tight end George Takacs.

Takacs caught just two passes for 12 yards last season, and there is plenty of room where his game will need to improve in order for him to earn that additional playing time, but the tools are there.

KMET COMPARISONS ARE HARD TO IGNORE

Takacs seems to be a bit of the forgotten man at the position, suffering from middle child syndrome on the depth chart. When you break down his combination of traits and skills, however, Takacs is not a player that should be overlooked. The first thing that stands out is his similarities to the departed Cole Kmet.

Takacs isn’t quite as athletic or as fast as Kmet, but his skillset is similar and he’s actually longer than Kmet. Takacs is listed at 6-6 and 247 pounds on the Notre Dame depth chart, and he has the frame to add more weight without losing a step. His body control and hands are outstanding for such a big athlete, and it made him a dangerous pass catcher at the prep level.

The Naples, Fla. native has the kind of size-speed-ball skills combination that is hard to find. In high school, Takacs spent as much time lined up in the slot or outside as he did attached in a traditional tight end role. He showed off good route running instincts and he tracked the downfield throws quite well.

OPPORTUNITY TO FIND A NICHE

Takacs showed good blocking potential last season, and the one play he made last fall shows off the body control and ball skills I discussed above.

The traits discussed above and his willingness to get after it as a blocker should at the very least allow Takacs to battle for a rotation spot this season. He has the strength to be a strong blocker, and he plays with surprisingly strong pad level for such a tall athlete. When he’s locked in Takacs can be quite effective as a run blocker.

Plays like the one above and his potential as a blocker could result in Takacs earning that third tight end spot, and when the team gets into short-yardage or red zone situations he could become a weapon.

CONSISTENCY WILL BE THE KEY

Takacs shouldn’t just settle for being the number three tight end. He has the talent to turn a strong offseason and fall camp into more than that, and if he can stay focused, toughen up a bit and be more consistent he could even push Brock Wright and Tommy Tremble for playing time.

There were times last spring when Takacs looked like the second best tight end on the roster, behind only Kmet. He would create major matchup problems against safeties and linebackers, and he would made exceptional catches even when he was covered.

But then he would make a mistake, or the coach would get on him, and you wouldn’t see the same level of focus or the same level of effort and production. Then there would be days where you didn’t even notice Takacs being out there.

What he needs to do is build on the strong plays and the strong days, move past mistakes, be a more consistent player and better handle when things don't go his way. 

If that version of George Takacs shows up in 2020 the Irish will have a very dangerous player on their hands. McNulty’s arrival should be a blessing for Takacs, and now the young tight end needs to take advantage of the opportunity in front of him and turn his talent into production.

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Comments (9)
No. 1-2
FamousAmos
FamousAmos

With ND currently sitting at 90 players.. it wouldn’t shock me if this is one of the players looking elsewhere for an expanded opportunity. I think not having spring ball really hurt him more than most on the roster. The depth chart situation isn’t ideal... sandwiched between Tremble/Wright then newcomers Mayer/Bauman. It’ll also be interesting to see how having a Tight Ends coach solely focused on developing players at the position, and the kind of impact that makes.

4 Replies

Bryan Driskell
Bryan Driskell

Editor

I'd be very surprised by that. He's going to get a chance in fall camp, that's for sure. He's also an Indiana kid, he loves ND, just didn't always get along with his position coach.

I also don't see him leaving during the season. What would be the point? He isn't going to play anywhere if he transfers. He was an early enrollee so he can graduate next spring and transfer somewhere else and play 2 years. If he leaves now he not only still misses out on the 2020 season, but he doesn't get the ND degree.

FamousAmos
FamousAmos

While I agree with that the waiver process has become a joke. If the guy thinks he can go somewhere, and contribute or get meaningful playing time then I’d understand the move. Also Tremble, Mayer, and Bauman will still be in the fold next year with Berrong. It doesn’t get any easier to find reps. I’d love to be wrong, and see him take off but it’s a tough road. If Michael Young can leave mid-season before the biggest game of the year as a starter then nothing can shock me haha.

Bryan Driskell
Bryan Driskell

Editor

Michael Young's situation was completely different.

  1. Young walked away from the team because he had yet to play four games, so he could use 2019 as a redshirt. Takacs has already used his redshirt, so it would make no sense for him not play for Notre Dame in 2020. He's losing that season of eligibility regardless, so why not play?

  2. Young is about to graduate and he knew that, so he knew saving the year of eligibility meant he had two years wherever he went. Takacs will only have 2 years after 2020 whether he plays for ND or sits out somewhere.

FamousAmos
FamousAmos

Pretty sure Young had played in only 3 games, so he still could have played vs. Michigan. It’s still bizarre to me. PJ was under the same situation could have stayed graduated this year and not sat out next year but everybody thinks they can get a waiver now so to me it changes things.

t13bru
t13bru

I see more Kyle Rudolph than Cole Kmet here.


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