NOTRE DAME — Some are moving across the country, some are moving across the state line and some find themselves on a new team alongside a familiar face.
The six former Irish players who heard their names called from Radio City last weekend mark Notre Dame’s best draft class since 2007. Over the course of last week, eight undrafted free agents received phone calls with invitations to rookie mini camps, which marks 14 Irish grads with a shot at the NFL this year.
While some like No. 21 overall pick Tyler Eifert got a phone call in the middle of an NFL Draft party, surrounded by friends, family and former teammates, others, like wide receiver Robby Toma, got word in the middle of the night.
“Blessed to get a wake up call at 4 a.m. from the Ravens,” Toma Tweeted Monday, April 29, morning. “Got a lot to prove this weekend!! Thank you Lord for this opportunity!”
Punter Ben Turk became the 14th and final Irish graduate to receive an invitation to a rookie camp on Tuesday, April 30. Turk joins fellow undrafted free agent and former Notre Dame player Cierre Wood with the Houston Texans.
Eifert and receiver John Goodman, who have played on the same football team since their days at Fort Wayne Bishop Dwenger High School, will join forces again at Cincinnati, while Toma joins defensive end Kapron Lewis-Moore in Baltimore. Safety Jamoris Slaughter and center Braxston Cave were both selected by the Cleveland Browns.
Linebacker Manti Te’o, a second-round draft pick to San Diego, lands the furthest away from South Bend but the closest to his native Hawaiian home. Te’o trades in his signature No. 5 for No. 50 with the Chargers, which seems to suggest “Hawaii 5-0.”
“I think it’ll all start to kick in when I see my jersey and my helmet in my locker,” Te’o told U-T San Diego. “To see that bolt on that helmet, I think that’s when it’ll finally hit me that I’m playing for the San Diego Chargers (and) I’m fulfilling a lifelong dream.”
Here’s a full list of where each 2013 grad is heading and when he was selected:
Tyler Eifert, tight end, Cincinnati Bengals (first round, 21st overall)
Manti Te’o, linebacker, San Diego Chargers (second round, 38th overall)
Jamoris Slaughter, safety, Cleveland Browns (sixth round, 175th overall)
Theo Riddick, running back, Detroit Lions (sixth round, 199th overall)
Kapron Lewis-Moore, defensive end, Baltimore Ravens (sixth round, 200th overall)
Zeke Motta, safety, Atlanta Falcons (seventh round, 224th overall)
Cierre Wood, running back, Houston Texans (undrafted free agent)
Mike Golic Jr., offensive line, Pittsburgh Steelers (undrafted free agent)
Braxston Cave, center, Cleveland Browns (undrafted free agent)
John Goodman, wide receiver, Cincinnati Bengals (undrafted free agent)
Jordan Cowart, long snapper, Washington Redskins (undrafted free agent)
Robby Toma, wide receiver, Baltimore Ravens (undrafted free agent)
Dayne Crist, quarterback, Kansas City Chiefs (undrafted free agent)
Ben Turk, punter, Houston Texans (undrafted free agent)