ARLINGTON HEIGHTS – It’s the kind of story that plays out in the mind of young football players in the Chicago area.
Start out watching the Bears, then play well enough in college to join the team they rooted for as a kid. It doesn’t happen very often, but when it does, it generally makes everyone involved pretty happy.
That’s was the case for Cole Kmet this weekend as the Bears selected the tight end with their first selection in the NFL Draft on Friday.
It started a major celebration at the Kmet’s current home in Arlington Heights as the former St. Viator High School and Notre Dame standout got the call from Matt Nagy that he was joining the Bears.
But that celebration was only the beginning, as friends and community members had an “Isolation Inspired” tribute for Kmet on Saturday.
People in the Arlington Heights community decided to have a drive-by, social distancing parade in front of the Kmet home on Saturday mornings. The tight end, standing at a respectful distance, waved to all of the fans that drove by in the neighborhood to salute him on being drafted by the Bears.
“Bear Down, Chicago Bears” could be heard coming out one of the cars that drove by as Kmet graciuosly accepted the fan’s praise on an incredible weekend for the Chicago-area native.
Growing up in Lake Barrington, Kmet was ranked as one of the Top Five tight ends in the nation in the Class of 2017, and showed that potential in his third season in South Bend. He caught 43 passes for the Fighting Irish in 2019 along with six touchdowns, making him one of the highest rated tight ends in the draft.
Hence the Bears chose him to address that need on Friday, making a dream come true for Kmet, and creating an “Isolation Inspired” celebration to remember.