Blue and Gold Illustrated

August 2017

Blue & Gold Illustrated: America's Foremost Authority on Notre Dame Football

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36 AUGUST 2017 BLUE & GOLD ILLUSTRATED BY DAVID MCKINNEY Just hours after losing a commit- ment from a four-star pass catcher June 14, Notre Dame picked up an- other one. Portland (Ore.) Tigard wide receiver Braden Lenzy flipped to Oregon early in the evening, but the Irish added a pledge from four-star Naples (Fla.) Gulf Coast tight end George Takacs before the night was over. Takacs was considered a Notre Dame lean for a long time, and ultimately chose the Irish over a final four that included Wisconsin, Georgia and Florida. Takacs — who was invited to par- ticipate in The Opening Finals June 28- July 3 in Beaverton, Ore. — is listed by Rivals as the No. 10 tight end and No. 234 overall prospect in the country. The talented tight end picked up his offer from Notre Dame March 5, and knew on some level that it was always going to be the Irish when decision time finally came. "Notre Dame is just a special place," Takacs said. "Nowhere else really had that going for it. It's so unique, and I thought that was really special." The new Irish commit was plenty familiar with Notre Dame before mak- ing his commitment, perhaps more so than any other prospect in the country. When Takacs arrives at Notre Dame, it will be his second time liv- ing in South Bend. He lived on cam- pus with his family as a child while his mother worked toward her mas- ter's degree at Notre Dame. Takacs made two visits to South Bend between being offered and committing, with the first coming March 31 and the second June 11. The second visit proved to be the clincher for him. "I got a chance to hang with the guys and a little bit more with the coaches," Takacs said following the latter trip. "I just decided it was the right decision to make." Takacs, the first tight end to join the class in 2018, said he's been building a strong bond with offensive coordi- nator/tight ends coach Chip Long. Long and the rest of the Irish coach- ing staff, Takacs said, were thrilled to score his commitment. "All the coaches were pumped to have me," he noted. "I'm building a great relationship with Coach Long." The newest Irish pledge had some other visits planned, but those won't happen now. Takacs is fully commit- ted to the Irish and plans to enroll early. Now that his recruitment is behind him, he said he's looking forward to getting fully focused on football. "It's definitely a relief to be done with it," Takacs said. "Now I can just focus on my senior season." Gulf Coast head coach Pete Fomi- naya said he isn't surprised to see so many accolades coming Takacs' way. "This is a young man who comes around maybe once a career for some coaches," Fominaya said. "He's not only super skilled, but he does every- thing right off the field. With George, you've got the complete package." At 6-6 and 235 pounds, Takacs is a talented blocker — but is just as effective in the passing game as he is on the line of scrimmage. "He's a matchup nightmare," Fominaya said. "Linebackers are too slow to cover him and safeties are too small. He creates a huge matchup problem for us. People have to know where he is at all times." Rarely, Fominaya said, will you see a player with Takacs' size that moves as well as he does. "You can find guys that are that big sometimes, but they're just not real coordinated," the coach explained. "To find a young man who is that athletic and big and can move the way he does is really special." ✦ FILM ANALYSIS Strengths George Takacs is a traditional tight end that physically reminds me a great deal of former Notre Dame standout Kyle Rudolph at the same age … Tall and on the thin side, but he has a tremendous frame … Competes as a blocker, driving his feet well and using his strength to get the job done … A quality ath- lete that posted a 4.87-second 40 at The Opening and had a 33.3-inch vertical jump, which are impres- sive numbers for his size … Catches the ball with ease and uses his size to work the middle of the field. Areas For Improvement A bit raw from a fundamental standpoint, but he did show good improvement as a route runner this summer … Must get stronger, especially with his lower body, to compete at the next level … Lacks elite speed, but considering his size he is able to stretch the field thanks to his length. — Bryan Driskell COMMITMENT PROFILE GEORGE TAKACS Irish Continue String Of Elite Tight End Commitments Takacs, Rivals' No. 10 tight end and No. 234 overall player nationally, picked Notre Dame over a final four that included Wisconsin, Georgia and Florida. PHOTO BY COREY BODDEN "HE'S A MATCHUP NIGHTMARE. LINEBACKERS ARE TOO SLOW TO COVER HIM AND SAFETIES ARE TOO SMALL." NAPLES (FLA.) GULF COAST HEAD COACH PETE FOMINAYA ON TAKACS

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