Notre Dame’s Michael Mayer is finalist for the John Mackey Award, which is given annually to the most outstanding tight end in college football.

The winner of the award will be announced on Thursday night. Mayer is joined by fellow finalists Brock Bowers (Georgia) and Sam LaPorta (Iowa).

ESPN’s David M. Hale is projecting Mayer to win the award. Here’s his analysis:

He was the point man in Notre Dame’s offense this season, and he delivered huge results. Mayer was second nationally among tight ends in catches (67), yards (809) and yards per route (2.57), and he led all tight ends with nine touchdown grabs and 20 contested catches. But what sets him apart from Bowers and others is his impressive blocking. He blocked on 417 snaps this season and missed just two of them.

Mayer has developed into the best all-around tight end in the country. Earlier this week, he announced that he is foregoing his remaining eligibility to enter the 2023 NFL Draft. Mayer is a potential first round pick.

He leaves Notre Dame as arguably the best tight end in program history. The last Notre Dame TE to win the Mackey Award was Tyler Eifert in 2012.

The winner will be announced as part of ESPN’s college football awards show on Thursday night. The show begins at 7:00 p.m. ET.