George Takacs was carried onto the field at Notre Dame Stadium the first time he visited there.
The four-star tight end wasn’t re-enacting the freeze-frame ending of “Rudy.” Nay, he was a tiny tot bundled for winter and resting in the arms of his mother, Susan, who was earning her master’s degree at Notre Dame.
Takacs’ home address may now say Naples, Fla., but Notre Dame has always felt like home.
“I just knew from when I stepped on campus this time that Notre Dame was where I should end up,” the 6-foot-7, 242 pound athlete told Irish247 at the time of his commitment. “Especially with all the history at the tight end position.”
Takacs had offered from more than 30 schools, including the Georgia Bulldogs and Ohio State Buckeyes. His commitment came hours after wide receiver Braden Lenzy — who is rated slighty higher than Takacs — left the 2018 class. Lenzy is now back in the recruiting mix, having departed the Oregon Ducks’ incoming class.
Takacs doesn’t have flashy numbers. He’s caught just 49 balls for 488 yards and two touchdowns in the 19 games recorded by MaxPreps. But coaches love his size and his ability to block defensive linemen on run plays.
This is what ESPN’s Craig Haubert said in June:
Takacs brings an outstanding blend of size and athleticism which can allow him to develop into an excellent, well-rounded Power-5 tight end. The ESPN 300 prospect looks the part with a tall, well-developed frame that can support additional good mass. With his combination of size and speed he can make plays down the seam and win one-on-one matchups downfield. He is a big target with good hands and the ability to adjust and make catches outside his frame, and he has the physical stature and the strength to develop into a strong contributor as an in-line blocker.
Haubert subsequently compared Takacs to the Stanford Cardinals’ Dalton Schultz. Schultz has been a regular player in his three seasons in Palo Alto, catching 53 balls for 547 yards and five touchdowns. (One of those scores was against the Irish on Nov. 25.)
The Irish enter 2018 with fifth-year Nic Weishar — who announced his return on Friday — senior Alize Mack and sophomores Cole Kmet and Brock Wright.