LAKE FOREST, Ill. (WTVO/WQRF) — Entering Halas Hall for any new member of the Bears is always a special moment, but especially for a hometown kid like rookie tight end Cole Kmet.
“That first day comin’ in was just a really special moment for me and I was just excited to get going’,” Kmet said.
With the team’s first regular season game just weeks away, the 21-year-old has been doing his best to get up to speed with playing on an NFL team and getting as many reps as he can. Not to mention, getting to work with veteran tight end Jimmy Graham, who says the Notre Dame alum reminds him of a younger version of himself.
“His football intelligence and his ability to soak in these plays and understand his assignments and understand football and defenses is extremely impressive for a young kid who doesn’t have a game under his belt,” Graham said.
Watching Graham play when he was younger, those words mean a lot to Kmet.
“I think I was 12 years old when I knew who Jimmy Graham was and I got his jersey when he was on the Saints,” Kmet explained. “I was telling him that the other day and he was laughing about it. He’s a guy that just goes up and gets it. That’s something as a tight end, you always look after. So, I’ve known him since I was 12 and to kind of see him now and for him to be teaching me some things is pretty cool for me.”
Regardless of the high remarks Kmet gets from his peers, he knows he still has a long way to go to be the best he can be.
“I know this is a long process in terms of becoming a complete football player, so being able to learn from guys like Jimmy Graham, Demetrius Harris and then obviously Coach Barone and the rest of the guys in the room has been really beneficial to me and that’s what I’m going to do everyday and just continue to progress as a football player,” Kmet said.
The Bears take on the Lions in Detroit on Sunday, September 13th.