NFL Draft 2020: Notre Dame's Cole Kmet explains why he turned down chance to play for White Sox


Former Notre Dame tight end Cole Kmet knows there’s a chance he could be a Chicago Bear by the end of the week. And it’s not his first opportunity to get drafted by a professional sports team in this city.

In 2017, the White Sox were interested in drafting the star pitcher from St. Viator High School. The Lake Barrington native even took batting practice at Guaranteed Rate Field. According to NFL Draft analyst Dane Brugler of The Athletic, “the White Sox made him a lucrative six-figure offer to sign and be a fifth-round draft pick in the 2017 MLB Draft.”

“I actually had a little workout with the White Sox at (Guaranteed Rate Field), so that was a lot of fun,” Kmet said on The Hoge & Jahns Podcast Tuesday. “But at the end of the day, it was a dream of mine to play college football at Notre Dame so that was something I couldn't pass up on.”

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The White Sox ended up drafting right handed pitcher Tyler Johnson in the fifth round that year. Kmet went on to play both baseball and football at Notre Dame.

“Being able to play both sports was something I wasn't ready to give up on either,” Kmet said about his decision to turn down the White Sox’s interest. “I wanted to play football and baseball and Notre Dame offered that. So that was something that I really couldn't turn down. Obviously, I'm very happy with the decision.”

Last year, Kmet decided to focus solely on football and after catching 43 passes for 515 yards and six touchdowns last fall, he turned pro. And there’s still a possibility he ends up getting drafted by a Chicago team. According to Kmet, he has had “quite a bit of contact with the Bears,” who hold the No. 43 and No. 50 overall picks in Friday’s second round.

And when asked jokingly if he only turned down the White Sox because he’s a Cubs fan, Kmet laughed and said: “Not only. No.”

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