Notre Dame played three freshman wide receivers in 2013, and the way coach Brian Kelly lauded early-enrolling freshman Justin Brent it's a trend that could continue this fall.
Brent is already on campus participating in pre-spring practice workouts, and Kelly's first impression of the Indianapolis native was a very positive one.
"The first thing that stood out to me is that he does not look like a freshman," Kelly said. "He had his shirt off this morning and he was running around, and he looks like a senior. He is a physically gifted young man. You can see a lot of the accolades that are out there with him in terms of where he was ranked."
Brent earned a four-star rating from Rivals, which ranked him as the top prep player in Indiana, 11th-best wide receiver nationally and 84th-best overall player in the class of 2014. With DaVaris Daniels out for the spring semester due to an academic issue, Brent should get plenty of opportunities on an inexperienced two-deep depth chart.
As is the case with plenty of other skill-position recruits, Brent looks physically ready for college ball. But if he's going to crack Notre Dame's wide receiver rotation this coming fall, he'll have to show he can manage the day-to-day grind of the season.
"Physically these guys are coming in so much more prepared," Kelly said, "… It's developing them mentally to find out whether they're going to play."