ND Tight End Kyle Rudolph Declares for NFL Draft


Notre Dame junior tight end Kyle Rudolph (Cincinnati, Ohio/Elder) will forgo his final season and make himself available for the 2011 NFL Draft, Rudolph announced Wednesday.

The 6-6, 265-pounder leaves Notre Dame with the fourth-most
receptions and receiving yards by a tight end for a career in school

"Notre Dame is such a special place and because of all the people I
met over the last three years this decision was very tough for me,"
Rudolph said. "I truly feel I have grown up here and this has become a
home away from home
for me."

Rudolph totaled 90 receptions for 1,032 yards and eight touchdowns
for the Fighting Irish and started 28 of 29 career games played at Notre
Dame. He ranked in the top 10 in single-season receptions in school
history, catching 29 passes as a freshman, 33 as a sophomore and 28 in 2010 despite missing the last seven games of the season.

"Kyle Rudolph
has a very bright future ahead of him and he will instantly make some
lucky NFL team much better next year," Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly
said. "I know this was a tough decision for Kyle because of the great relationships he formed at Notre Dame and he will be missed in the
locker room next year. But we are happy for him and his family and are
excited to watch him represent the University of Notre Dame during this
next chapter of
his life."

One of the top tight ends in the nation the last two years, Rudolph was a semifinalist in 2009 and 2010 for the John Mackey Award, presented annually to college football's top tight end.

As a junior, Rudolph tallied 328 receiving yards and three TDs while
starting each of the first six games. He was on pace to break Notre
Dame's single-season record of receptions by a tight end and record the
second-most receiving yards in a season by an Irish tight end prior to
sustaining a season-ending hamstring injury.

The highlight of Rudolph's 2010 season occurred in the second game as he tallied a career-best 164 receiving yards on eight receptions and one TD against Michigan. Included in that game
was a 95-yard touchdown reception, the second-longest pass play in Notre
Dame history.

Rudolph became the first freshman to start a season opener at tight
end for the Irish in 2008 and he started every game in his rookie

Kyle Rudolph's Place in the Irish Record Books

Single-Game Receiving Yards By Tight End ­ 1st, 164 yards (Sept. 11, 2010
vs. Michigan)
Single-Game Receptions By Tight End ­ 2nd, 8 (Sept. 11, 2010 vs. Michigan
and Sept. 18, 2010 at Michigan State)
Career Receptions By Tight End ­ 4th, 90
Career Receiving Yards By Tight End ­ 4th, 1,032 yards
Single-Season Receptions By Tight End ­ 7th, 33 (2009)
Single-Season Receptions By Tight End ­ 9th, 29 (2008)
Single-Season Receptions By Tight End ­ T-10th, 28 (2010)

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