senior day 2023
Griffin Eifert’s time at Notre Dame has been ‘everything and more’
Matthew Crow | Friday, November 17, 2023
For senior wide receiver Griffin Eifert, attending and playing football at Notre Dame was the fulfillment of a lifelong dream. Eifert grew up as an Irish fan in nearby Fort Wayne, Ind., and got an inside look at the football program while watching his older brother Tyler, who starred at tight end for Notre Dame from 2009-2012.
“I grew up coming to all of [Tyler’s] games. His senior year, I went to every game, home and away,” Eifert said. “I love Notre Dame and Notre Dame football. And then the academics just kind of topped it off, can’t get a better degree than that.”
Four years after making the decision to come to South Bend, Eifert has no second thoughts or regrets.
“It’s been everything [I hoped for] and more,” he said. “Just the friendships I’ve made, the lessons I’ve learned, it really paid off and I’m happy I did it.”
Eifert’s freshman year began during the heart of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the various restrictions made it a challenge to quickly forge relationships with his new teammates. But sharing that experience has made the Irish senior class, and the team as a whole, all the more tight-knit in the seasons since.
“As a freshman, I was pretty shy. It was also during COVID, so we didn’t get to hang out with the guys outside of football that much,” Eifert said. “But now it’s [like], I can feel the brotherhood around the locker room, and it’s changing for the better.”
His first year was also memorable in some positive ways, though. The Irish finished the regular season undefeated and reached the College Football Playoff. That run featured a double-overtime victory over No. 1 Clemson at home, which Eifert refers to as the most memorable game he’s experienced at Notre Dame.
But while not every game results in a field storming, each time he gets to step on the field in front of 80,000 fans at Notre Dame Stadium is special for Eifert. Even now, in the days leading up to the final home game of his career, hearing the opening strains of “Here Come the Irish” over the loudspeaker prior to the opening kickoff has never gotten old.
“I would say my favorite moment [of playing football at Notre Dame], and it happens every game, is the kickoff to start the game when the lady’s singing,” Eifert said. “I think that’s probably one of my favorite parts.”
With the season drawing to a close, the seniors’ time with the Irish is dwindling. That’s especially true for Eifert, who will graduate in December with a degree in Marketing. On the heels of a loss to Clemson, he and his teammates are focused on bouncing back the same way they have done after their previous defeats this season and capping off their time at Notre Dame on a high note.
“It’s really [about] just finishing strong,” Eifert said. “Obviously, November’s an important month in football – that’s how teams are remembered,” he said. “So we don’t want to be remembered [as] the team that gave up, but [the team that] persevered and finished strong.”