Kmet breaks collarbone, creates offensive void
Observer Sports Staff | Thursday, August 29, 2019
Irish junior Cole Kmet broke his collarbone Thursday at preseason camp, leaving him questionable for Notre Dame’s season-opener at Louisville. The injury occurred when the 6-foot-6, 255-pound tight end caught a touchdown pass from redshirt freshman quarterback Phil Jurkovec but landed awkwardly on his shoulder. The injury occurred at Culver Academy in Culver, Indiana, during the team’s first fall practice in full pads.
Kmet, a native of Lake Barrington, Illinois, joined Notre Dame‘s class of 2021 as the No. 3 rated tight end by Rivals, ESPN and 247Sports. A duel-sport athlete, Kmet played both baseball and football for the Irish his first two years. However, due to an elbow injury sustained in the spring, he recently retired from the former.
After appearing in just one game during his freshman campaign, catching two passes for 14 yards, Kmet found more success in his second year on the gridiron. He caught 15 passes for 162 yards in nine games as a sophomore, and is figured to be a prominent piece of Notre Dame’s offense in 2019.
Kmet was not the only member of the Irish to fall victim to injury during the team‘s stay at Culver. Freshman offensive tackle Quinn Carroll is expected to miss the 2019 season with a knee injury sustained Wednesday and sophomore running back Jahmir Smith suffered a broken left hand, but has continued to practice with a cast.
The depth at the offensive line and running back positions should be sufficient to withstand the injuries to Smith and Carroll, but the loss of Kmet leaves a larger hole.
Kmet faces a three-to-six week recovery period.
With one junior out, the Irish will look to another in Brock Wright, who was the No. 1 rated tight end in 2017 by Rivals and ESPN. The Cypress, Texas, native appeared in 11 games as a freshman but caught no passes, seeing time in primarily a special teams role. He played in all 12 regular season games as a sophomore, recording his first career touchdown against Wake Forest on Sept. 22.
Sophomore tight ends Tommy Tremble and George Takacs — the only other scholarship tight ends on Notre Dames’s roster — will look to help Wright in supplementing Kmet’s production.