Oct. 13, 2012; South Bend, IN, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish wide receiver TJ Jones (7) celebrates after a touchdown catch in overtime against the Stanford Cardinal at Notre Dame Stadium. Notre Dame won 20-13. Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

Evaluating the Depth: Notre Dame Wide Receivers


Tyler Eifert was the main target last season and the leading receiver in yards, catches, and touchdowns. He is now gone. He was split out frequently to create matchup problems. Theo Riddick has been a weapon in the passing game his entire career at Notre Dame whether playing Wide Out or catching passes out of the backfield he has impacted the passing game. Robby Toma, one of the slot receivers, did not get a whole lot of playing time, but played a huge role in the offense and had some big catches throughout the season is now gone. The receiving core takes another hit with John Goodman leaving. He only had 7 catches, but 3 were touchdowns including one against Michigan State, while fighting through pass interference to make the catch. The Wide Receiver position is one of the biggest question marks of the 2013 season.

There is one player coming back that actually tied Eifert for first in receptions (50) and touchdowns (4) and was second in yards with 649, TJ Jones. He had really started to come along towards the end of the season when Golson started to get more comfortable in the pocket. Jones is only 5’11’’ 190, but has very good ball skills and can make guys miss. He will be a Senior and should lead the receiving core this season. One of the young guys that really made a difference this year was DaVaris Daniels who stands at 6’2’’ 190 pounds. With Notre Dame losing Eifert, Notre Dame will need to replace a physically imposing Wide Receiver. Daniels is only 190 but should get bigger over the off season. Troy Niklas is a very physical Tight End who could fill Eifert’s role next season. But he will really need to work on his route running and release over the off-season. Then there is speedy Freshman Chris Brown who had a huge catch against Oklahoma, but really did not get a lot of playing time throughout the season. Many teams knew that if he was in there he was going deep. If Brown can improve on his blocking skills, shorter route running, and the ability to find holes in zones he will become a very dangerous receiver. Daniel Smith who is put in mostly for blocking assignments and is considered the best blocking Wide Out on the team. The 2013 recruiting class does have a bunch of good talented wide receivers, but you cannot forget about the quick return man Davonte Neal, who will get a good shot at playing time next season. If there was a freshman that might get playing time it would be Corey Robinson in my opinion, because of his size and ability to go up and get the football at its highest point.

2013 Projected Depth Chart

1. T.J. Jones

2. DaVaris Daniels

3. Chris Brown

4. Daniel Smith/Davonte Neal

5. Davonte Neal/Daniel Smith

6. Justin Ferguson

7. Corey Robinson

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