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irish insider

George Takacs fights for position in senior season

| Friday, November 19, 2021

Senior tight end George Takacs always grew up watching Irish football; for him to play in and win a rivalry game against USC was a dream come true. Growing up in Naples, Florida, Takacs looked past other football powerhouses such as Florida State, Georgia and Auburn to find his home at Notre Dame. 

Since then, Takacs has grown as a player to make a concrete impact on the team.

I came in my freshman year — I wasn’t ready to play. And from there it’s really just been trying to work hard at my craft and really focus on the finer details of my position,” he said.

Takacs has surely proven his growth this year. While he might not be the first choice to get the ball, he still has an important role on the field. As a tight end, Takacs’ primary role on the field is as a blocker, although throughout the years he has made some substantial catches. In his sophomore season, he scored his first career touchdown at Duke on a two-yard reception. Last year, he made a 13-yard reception which helped bring Notre Dame to a victory against UNC. 

Despite being a senior, Takacs had to fight for his spot. In his freshman year he saw no playing time. In 2019, he sat behind Cole Kmet and Tommy Tremble. Then in 2020 came top-40 recruit Michael Mayer. In 2020, when asked about Takacs, Brian Kelly said he was undervalued. 

George is an undervalued player on our roster. He can make plays for us. He’s a talented player,” Kelly said. “It was nice to see him have some success. I think he will have more success moving forward.”

And he did eventually find success. In his senior season, he was able to play in his first rivalry game against USC. He also had 15 receiving yards against Virginia Tech.  

Takacs would be the first to admit his undervalued role on the field.

If I was a quarterback, I would throw the ball to [Mayer] too. I don’t take it as a personal slight — the guy’s awesome,” Takacs said. However, he continued by saying, “When I am asked to make a play in the pass game, I am ready to make it. I’ve been practicing like it.”

Kelly agreed with this sentiment. 

“His mindset is ‘I can contribute. I’m not going to be Mike Mayer, and that’s not who I am.’ But he’s a big, physical kid. He plays physical at the line of scrimmage. He’s a guy who’s going to help us as an in-line blocker. He’s a guy who has some talent catching the football,” Kelly said.

Arianna Denning | The Observer
Irish senior tight end George Takacas blocks during a field goal attempt during Notre Dame’s 32-29 win over Toledo on Sep. 11 at Notre Dame Stadium.

Takacs was never the best player, but he worked hard and mastered his craft to ensure that he would not be forgotten. 

With fresh players coming in at the start of the season, Takacs discussed how the offense as a whole has improved from week one.

“The chemistry’s getting better. The guys are getting more comfortable,” he said. “It’s never a question of the talent here … and everyone’s doing a better job of it.”

When asked how good he thinks the offense could be, Takacs responded without hesitation: “Very good — really good, honestly.” He later described his teammates as “the most talented group I’ve ever been a part of.”

Takacs fought his way through three years of being the underdog to have his chance on the field for his senior season. With his four years of playing at Notre Dame, Takacs has played in 26 games with 57 receiving yards. When asked where he thought the offense could still improve with the remainder of the season, Takacs responded, “The sky’s the limit.”

As this season comes to an end, Takacs has proven his worth by working hard all throughout his career and fighting for his spot on the team. 

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