Notre Dame Football: Miles Boykin Has Emerged From Backup To Top Target

3ORLANDO, FL - JANUARY 01: Miles Boykin
3ORLANDO, FL - JANUARY 01: Miles Boykin /

Miles Boykin has worked his way into becoming Notre Dame football’s top receiving target

Miles Boykin exploded onto the national scene with one play last season. An incredible catch not only left us with our jaws on the floor, but gave the Irish its tenth win of the season.

That one catch created a name for Boykin. It will always be a part of his career highlights.

This season, it’s about tearing the door off the hinges as Notre Dame’s No. 1 receiver.

But how does one catch at the end of the season make him Notre Dame’s top target the following year? That catch was just a glimpse of the talent Boykin processes. After learning behind current Green Bay Packers receiver Equanimeous St. Brown, it’s Boykin’s time to show out.

Is he up to the task?

Boykin has improved physically and mentally this off-season. Despite his 6-foot-4 frame, one-on-one he was getting overpowered by some cornerbacks last season. This offseason, he’s recognized the importance of improving his craft — especially with St. Brown no longer a member of the team.

Focusing on the key factors that go into being an elite receiver, Boykin’s has had the best competition testing him.

Julian Love — a preseason All-American candidate at cornerback — is the ultimate test. From learning behind the best to being tested by the best, Boykin has been set up to be an elite receiver.

With his 40-inch vertical, defending Boykin will be a tall task for any corner. As he continues to get better, Irish fans should be excited to see what their new No. 1 receiver will be able to produce this season.

The biggest question going heading into the 2018 campaign will be Boykin’s conditioning.

Last season, he was going in for the handful of plays that St. Brown wasn’t on the field for. Taking over St. Brown’s workload could be overwhelming.

After focusing on that condititoning this offseason, it isn’t likely to be an issue. In the event that it does become a problem, the Irish have other options.

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Chase Claypool is almost identical in frame and skill to Boykin. A speed threat at an identical height gives Notre Dame multiple options when going to the air. Another receiver Irish fans should be on the lookout for this season is Chris Finke — who appears primed for a big year out of the slot.

With those two able to take some of the load off of Boykin, the Irish should feel confident about this season.