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Notre Dame tight end Tyler Eifert

Notre Dame tight end Tyler Eifert talks about getting a Tweet from PGA player Bubba Watson. By Tony Krausz, The Journal Gazette

Eifert's rewarding experience

Notre Dame tight end Tyler Eifert had back-to-back award ceremonies.

The Bishop Dwenger graduate began his personal postseason celebration Wednesday when he became the Irish's first John Mackey Award winner as the nation's top tight end.

Eifert accepted the award Wednesday then he was part of the Home Depot College Awards show on ESPN on Thursday, when he was recognized again for winning the award.

He was back at Notre Dame on Friday when he was awarded the team's offensive player of the year award during the Irish's awards show.

"It was a lot of fun being around all of those other athletes and coaches," Eifert said of being in Orlando and at the red carpet show. "It was a pretty cool experience. And all of the TV personalities, it was a good time."

Eifert took part in a segment that was shown during the college awards show where he was with Alabama cornerback Dee Milliner and ESPN's Samantha Steele at Walt Disney World.

Eifert and Milliner, who will square off against each other when the No. 1 Irish (12-0) play the No. 2 Crimson Tide (12-1) in the BCS championship game Jan. 7 in Miami, had a little friendly competition during the segment, competing in a pushups contest.

While he enjoyed all of the experience, Eifert said the award ceremony is what stood out the most in Orlando.

"Seeing all of those guys, it was cool," Eifert said

Eifert led Notre Dame in receptions (44) and receiving yards (624) and tied receiver TJ Jones for the most touchdown receptions (4) this season.

The 6-foot-6, 251-pounder became Notre Dame's all-time leader in receptions by a tight end with 134, breaking Ken MacAfee's 35-year-old record (128), and he broke MacAfee's record for most receiving yards by a tight end with 1,779 yards this season. MacAfee had 1,760 career receiving yards.

"I don't think it has really sunk in yet," Eifert said of being Notre Dame's most productive receiving tight end ever. "It means a lot. I'm just grateful to be able to be mentioned with some of the greats here. I came here just trying to get on the bus (for road games) and do anything I could to help the team win. To be where I am now, I feel pretty lucky."

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