Veteran tight end George Takacs announces change of mind, transfer from Notre Dame

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Just more than a month after he announced he would return to Notre Dame for a fifth season, tight end George Takacs reversed course on Monday, announcing he will enter the transfer portal.

“To my teammates, you all have made Notre Dame my home,” Takacs wrote on Twitter. “Playing with you has brought me more joy and camaraderie than I possibly could have imagined. You all are my brothers for life and I cannot thank you enough for the best years of my life.”

Takacs finishes his Irish career with eight catches for 78 yards and two touchdowns, including one in the regular-season finale in 2021 at Stanford. The 6-foot-6 tight end and one-time No. 11 tight end in the recruiting class of 2018 had the rather common difficulty at Notre Dame of playing behind so many other outstanding tight ends.

Cole Kmet led the Irish in 2018 and 2019. Then Tommy Tremble and Michael Mayer shared the lead role in 2020 before Mayer broke out in 2021 with a record-setting season.

Mayer will return in 2022 and almost certainly be Notre Dame’s leading receiver in every category, backed up by rising junior Kevin Bauman and rising sophomores Mitchell Evans and Cane Berrong, along with incoming freshmen Eli Raridon and Holden Staes. Of course, Takacs knew all that a month ago.

One can only speculate what changed between then and now, but if Berrong and/or Raridon has shown more progress recovering from respective knee injuries than expected, that could foreshadow a No. 2 role to Mayer this fall, leaving Takacs once again knocked down the depth chart.

Thanks to the universal pandemic eligibility waiver, Takacs has two years of eligibility remaining, and he once held scholarship offers from 10 SEC schools, including his homestate Florida, as well as half a dozen ACC programs.