Notre Dame Football: Irish Receivers Will Be Physical Mismatches All Season

EAST LANSING, MI - SEPTEMBER 23: Chase Claypool /

The Notre Dame football team will have a physical advantage at wide receiver against every opponent in 2018.

When discussing the 2018 Notre Dame football team, much of the conversation around the country heading into the season seems to be focused on what the Irish lost personnel-wise.

Not much is being said about what the Irish return.

Heading into the 2018 campaign, there is one position where Notre Dame returns a significant physical advantage against every team on the schedule: wide receiver.

Notre Dame media and fans are very familiar with the size and ability of the top two Irish receivers, Miles Boykin and Chase Claypool. That familiarity, however, may have caused us all to take the two giant wideouts for granted.

With all of the concern over Brandon Wimbush’s accuracy, having two 6-foot-4 receivers — both of whom have great hands and speed — should calm the nerves of the Irish faithful. Their physical presence makes things easier on Wimbush, as he no longer needs to look as hard for the open man. By way of their physical attributes, Boykin and Claypool are always open. Wimbush simply needs to keep his passes in an area where his two massive wideouts can go grab them and win jump-ball battles against smaller corners all season.

According to the projected depth charts at, Notre Dame’s top two wideouts will have at least a four-inch height advantage over all but six of the top-24 (two from each team) cornerbacks on the 2018 Irish schedule. Only USC’s Iman Marshall (6-1), Florida State’s Stanford Samuels (6-2), Virginia Tech’s Jeremy Webb (6-3), Stanford’s Alijah Holder (6-2), Wake Forest’s Amari Henderson (6-1) and Vanderbilt’s Joejuan WIlliams (6-3) stand over six feet tall.

It’s not like defensive coordinators can just move taller safeties around to balance things out. They’ll still be matching these smaller corners up with tight ends, subsequently leaving Notre Dame’s dynamic backs matched up with linebackers on passing downs. At some point, opposing coordinators are simply going to need to swallow the physical mismatches and hope for the best.

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A lot of teams have large receivers, but very few teams two guys the size of Boykin and Claypool who are also game-breakers. Their presence makes the 2018 Notre Dame offense a unique challenge to defend for every team on the schedule.