Aug 31, 2013; South Bend, IN, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish tight end Troy Niklas (85) breaks away to score a touchdown against the Temple Owls at Notre Dame Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Notre Dame TE Troy Niklas enters 2014 NFL draft

The underclassmen tight end class in the 2014 NFL Draft continues to grow. After initially saying that he was leaning towards returning to school for his senior season, Notre Dame tight end Troy Niklas has decided to forego his final year of eligibility to enter the draft.

Niklas received a second-round grade from the NFL Draft Advisory board.

“I have made the very difficult decision to pursue my childhood dream and will enter the 2014 NFL Draft,” Niklas said, via Sports Illustrated. “I have thoroughly enjoyed my Notre Dame experience and want to thank the University, coach (Brian) Kelly, my teammates, the football staff, administration and my teachers, as well as all of my friends and the entire Notre Dame community for providing this Southern California native with the experience of a lifetime.

“While I will miss being part of the team next year, I will always be part of the Notre Dame family and look forward to returning to earn my degree from the greatest university in the country.”

In 2013, the 6-foot-7, 270 pound Niklas hauled in 32 passes for 498 yards and five touchdowns.

Tags: 2014 NFL Draft Football NFL Draft Notre Dame Fighting Irish Troy Niklas

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