“This was a tough decision for me, but it came down to where do I want to be most next year,” Eifert said. “I have some great friends on the football team and at Notre Dame and I’m excited about the direction Coach Kelly has us going. Ultimately, the entire Notre Dame experience, including the great relationships I have with my teammates and coaches, told me Notre Dame is where I belong.”
Eifert's return is a big boost for the Irish offense, as he broke school records this season for receptions (63) and receiving yards (803) by a tight end.
“I’m obviously very happy that Tyler will be part of our team next year,” Kelly said. “It’s always a good thing when an All-American decides he wants to spend another year in your program. Tyler is an exciting, athletic tight end who is an essential part of our offense. I’m happy he has decided to come back to finish his degree and help us to secure a championship season.”
Eifert is on pace to graduate in December 2012 with a degree in management-entrepreneurship. With 90 catches for 1,155 yards in his career, the junior is 39 catches and 605 receiving yards shy of Ken MacAfee's school record for career catches and receiving yards by a Notre Dame tight end.
“I didn’t come to Notre Dame just to help me get to the NFL,” Eifert said. “The value of the Notre Dame degree is so great, and since I am only two semesters away from graduating it would have been crazy for me to walk away now. Having the opportunity to go to the NFL will eventually be a bonus on an already great college experience.”
“I feel I still have many areas I can improve as a player,” he added. “I need to get physically stronger to become a better blocker and I can always improve my route running. I’m confident that will happen in the next year.”