With Notre Dame on a roll at tight end, freshman Nic Weishar enters “Tight End U” trying to make a name for himself. One of the top players in the Chicagoland area, Weishar already looks the part of a great pass-catching weapon, needing to round out his game to get bigger and stronger at the point of attack.
Joining a depth chart filled with youth behind Ben Koyack, there’s no urgency for Weishar to get onto the field now. But after a solid training camp, he’s doing everything he can to get position coach Scott Booker’s attention.
Let’s take a closer look at the Chicagoland product.
6’4″ 237 lbs.
Freshman, No. 82
A first-team All-State player as named by the Chicago Tribune, Weishar earned a four-star ranking and was a U.S. Army All-American. With offers from Iowa, Michigan, Ohio State and Oklahoma, Weishar showed four-star talent as a jumbo receiver who was a record-setter at Marist, something that caught the Irish staff’s eye.
“We could argue about this all day. He’s the finest pass catching tight end that we saw. You could argue about who it is, but we think he is,” Kelly said. “We love his ball skills, we love his ability to use his body to control defenders, has a knack of catching the football in the air and taking it away from people. He’s a guy that will have a great career here at Notre Dame.”
At the very least, Weishar will find a way onto the field as a mismatch opportunity on the edge. But his value as a tight end will depend on his ability to gain weight and hold up at the point of attack, something Kelly acknowledged on Signing Day, with Weishar only around 215 pounds this offseason.
That he’s up to almost 240 is a great sign, and if he’s able to add bulk without taking away from his top-end speed, he’ll be a great option in the future when Koyack departs after this season.
I don’t see Weishar getting into a game this year. It just doesn’t make sense as long as Koyack, Durham Smythe, Mike Heuerman and Tyler Luatua all stay healthy. A year off will give Weishar a chance to get to know Paul Longo and his staff.
It’ll also give the Irish coaching staff an opportunity to balance their roster. With Smythe, Heuerman and Luatua all locks to play, holding Weishar back makes it easier to manage the roster, especially trying to keep the tight end recruiting even moving forward.
There’s a bright future ahead for Weishar. But it isn’t likely to happen in 2014.
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Torii Hunter Jr.