The 2022 college football season is upon us and for many fans, the most important part of that is that it's first showcase of the future stars of the NFL.
For ESPN's Kirk Herbstreit, one player stands out to him as the most pro-ready player in the game. During his preseason "Herbie Awards," Herbstreit gave the title of most "pro-ready player in this year’s class" to Notre Dame tight end Michael Mayer.
Herbstreit pointed out that Mayer already appears to be the total package at tight end since he can block with the best of them and be a top receiver. He believes that he'll be a difference-maker in Notre Dame's opener against Ohio State.
"You know it's rare, in today's game, to see a tight end, that can be an in-line tight end, next to the tackle get physical, hold the point, kind of set that edge," Herbstreit said, via 247Sports. "And then also you can flex him out. You don't see a lot of guys with that skill set. Usually they're more just, 'He's our blocker, he's our in-line guy. Oh, and this guy he's basically a receiver that's a little bit bigger. So we can flex him out and create a matchup.' With Michael Mayer, you can do both. So he is just a rare breed. And I think they're gonna take full advantage of him this year. And Ohio State, Week 1, better be ready to defend No. 87."
The wider college football world is high on Mayer too. He was voted a preseason All-American by the Associated Press.
In two seasons at Notre Dame, Michael Mayer has 113 receptions for 1,290 yards and nine touchdowns.
Last year he was especially good as a pass catcher, hauling in 71 balls for 840 yards and seven touchdowns.
He's probably going to be among the top tight ends taken in the 2023 NFL Draft if he goes pro after this year.
Based on Herbstreit's comments, he'll be ready for it.