Notre Dame 2012 Top 25 countdown: No. 4

Today brings us to our final offensive player.

No. 4: Tyler Eifert, TE

Making the case: Eifert was tied for the team-lead with 50 catches in 2012, amassing a team-best 685 receiving yards and four touchdowns. The numbers were down from last year -- his 63 catches for 803 yards in 2011 were both single-season school records by a tight end -- but the production proved more valuable in 2012. Often facing double-teams as the Irish's only proven receiving weapon entering 2012, Eifert was reliable as ever whenever Tommy Rees stepped in, and he and Everett Golson developed a rapport as the season progressed. He also drew a number of pass interference calls, and proved extremely difficult to match up with one-on-one. He ended up winning the Mackey Award as the nation's top tight end, and he could hear his name called in the first round of this April's NFL draft. He was named the team's offensive player of the year, and he was a CBSSports.com second-team All-American. Eifert leaves Notre Dame as the school career record-holder in both receptions (134) and receiving yards (1,779) by a tight end.

Preseason ranking: 2

The countdown

No. 5 Zack Martin, LT

No. 6 Theo Riddick, RB

No. 7 Braxston Cave, C

No. 8 Kapron Lewis-Moore, DE

No. 9 Zeke Motta, S

No. 10 Prince Shembo, LB

No. 11 Danny Spond, LB

No. 12 T.J. Jones, WR

No. 13 Everett Golson, QB

No. 14 Cierre Wood, RB

No. 15 Bennett Jackson, CB

No. 16 Tommy Rees, QB

No. 17 DaVaris Daniels, WR

No. 18 Chris Watt, LG

No. 19 George Atkinson III, RB

No. 20 Dan Fox, LB

No. 21 Matthias Farley, S

No. 22 KeiVarae Russell, CB

No. 23 Robby Toma, WR

No. 24 Kyle Brindza, K

No. 25 Chris Brown, WR