Notre Dame’s Kmet changes mind, declares for NFL draft

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — Cole Kmet is the latest Notre Dame player to give up his final year of eligibility to enter the NFL draft, changing his mind after saying in November that he intended to return.

The tight end announced his decision Thursday on Twitter, joining running back Tony Jones Jr. and safety Alohi Gilman in making themselves available for the April 23-25 draft. Quarterback Ian Book will return to Notre Dame next season.

“After numerous conversations with my family and coaching staff, I will be declaring for the 2020 NFL Draft,” tweeted Kmet, whose has produced some impressive numbers the last two seasons despite battling injuries.

The 6-foot-5 1/2. 250-pound Kmet, also left-handed pitcher, indicated a month ago he was looking forward to rejoining the Irish baseball team on which younger brother Casey is a freshman catcher and infielder.

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Despite his early declaration to return, Kmet received a second-round grade from an NFL college advisory committee before the Camping World Bowl. He caught two passes for 33 yards in Notre Dame’s victory over Iowa State in the bowl, the last a fourth-quarter, 10-yard completion along the sideline during which it appeared he twisted his knee.

Kmet broke a collarbone during the preseason, had surgery and missed Notre Dame’s first two games. He finished second on the team with 43 receptions for 515 yards and six touchdowns in 11 games.

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