Cole Kmet's decision to leave Notre Dame early landed him in the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft.
He won't have to go far from home.
On Friday night, the Chicago Bears, selected the 6-foot-6, 262-pound Kmet with the No. 43 overall pick. He was the first tight end selected in this year's draft.
Kmet left the Irish program after a breakout junior season with 43 catches for 515 yards and six touchdowns despite missing the first two games with a broken collarbone. The former Irish pitcher opted to put his baseball career aside to pursue the NFL.
Kmet is the seventh Notre Dame tight end to be drafted during head coach Brian Kelly's tenure. Last year, the New Orleans Saints picked Alizé Mack in the seventh round.
Kmet became the highest former Irish tight end selected since the Cincinnati Bengals took Tyler Eifert in 2013 (round one, pick 21).
Kmet finished his Notre Dame career with 60 receptions for 691 yards and six touchdowns in 35 games with 18 starts.
Kmet, a product of Arlington Heights (Ill.) St. Viator, joined the Irish as a four-star recruit in the 2017 class. Both Rivals and 247Sports pegged him as the No. 3 tight end and among the top 100 prospects that year.
The @ChicagoBears are getting a powerful Tight End in @ColeKmet.— Brian Kelly (@CoachBrianKelly) April 25, 2020
We can add Cole to the list of every starting TE at Notre Dame drafted since 2003.
Congratulations, Cole! #GoIrish pic.twitter.com/Vb7fqzYITt
Three in three years.— Chip Long (@CoachChipLong) April 25, 2020
Cole is the type of teammate anyone would be envious to have, he’s got it all.
Grateful for the opportunity to coach him. pic.twitter.com/JksXtYYsmL