Sherwood and Staes recently spoke about what they learned from Mayer, both on the field and off.
“Obviously with Mike there we could learn every aspect of the game,” said Sherwood, who is a rising junior. “I think obviously he was the most complete tight end in the draft. So in terms of his run blocking, his footwork, how he uses his body, his shoulder. And then in the route game he always has a great plan. And I feel like I learned a lot from him.”
Mayer was drafted in the second round of the NFL draft by the Las Vegas Raiders last weekend.
He recorded 67 catches for 809 yards and nine touchdowns during his final season at Notre Dame in 2022. Mayer’s nine touchdowns were three times as many as anyone else on the roster.
Mayer doesn’t have elite speed, but he is an elite tight end.
“It’s not always about how fast you’re running your route but having a good plan,” Sherwood said. “And he gets out of his breaks better than anyone. So that’s what we’re all trying to mimic.”
Staes added that he also learned from Mayer what it takes to be elite away from the field.
Everything starts with preparation in the meeting room, before game days and practices.
“I would say first, his approach to the game. Just what he did in terms of like in the meeting room, before we came out to practice,” Staes said. “He was just super detailed about what he knew he had to do. And then he would always go out there and execute it.”
Staes echoed Sherwood in stating that he was blown away by Mayer’s ability to be so productive, despite not having elite speed.
“In the passing game, I’ve never seen anything like it. He’s not the fastest tight end, but just his deceptiveness, how he approaches a route before he does it and what he does with his eyes, his feet – deceiving a DB or a safety, like thinking he’s going one way and then going another,” Staes said. “I took all of that, mental notes watching him, and then I’m trying to add it to my game. So it’s definitely big for me playing behind him.”
Sherwood appeared in all 13 games last season, making one start. He did not record a reception, but he did complete the only pass he attempted for a 20-yard gain.
Staes, who is a rising sophomore, appeared in 11 games last year, making one start. He caught one pass for 11 yards on the season.
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