Notre Dame unit preview: Wide receivers/tight ends

Notre Dame unit preview: Wide receivers/tight ends
July 25, 2014, 1:15 pm
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In six words or less: Lots of talent, little experience

Projected starters: DaVaris Daniels, Corey Robinson, Amir Carlisle (WRs), Ben Koyack (TE)
Rising up the depth chart: Corey Robinson, Will Fuller (WRs), Durham Smythe, Mike Heurmann (TEs)
Arrivals: Justin Brent, Corey Holmes (incoming freshman WRs), Amir Carlisle (position switch to WR), Nic Weishar, Tyler Luatua (TEs)
Departures: T.J. Jones, Daniel Smith, James Onwualu (position switch), Troy Niklas

Looking back

Of Everett Golson's favorite targets in 2012, only one -- DaVaris Daniels -- returns in 2014. T.J. Jones, Robby Toma, John Goodman, Tyler Eifert and Troy Niklas aren't around anymore, meaning Golson is surrounded by Daniels and a bunch of receivers he doesn't know too well. Golson completed one pass to Ben Koyack and one to Chris Brown in 2012, though the latter was that 50-yard strike that teed up Notre Dame's win over Oklahoma in Norman.

[MORE: Previewing Notre Dame's quarterbacks]

Golson isn't entirely inexperienced with his other targets, though. He had all of spring practice and the summer to get acquainted with Corey Robinson (who was around for 2013's spring practice, too), Will Fuller, Torii Hunter Jr., Justin Brent, C.J. Prosise, Amir Carlisle, Durham Smythe and Mike Heurmann. The chemistry may not develop immediately, but it also likely won't be too big an issue.

2014 outlook

Corey Robinson only caught nine passes a year ago, but he looks primed for a breakout sophomore season. The 6-foot-4 wideout is a matchup nightmare on deep routes but upped his knowledge of Notre Dame's other route concepts this spring, setting himself up to be a threat on more than fades/corners/posts.

[MORE: Previewing Notre Dame's running backs]

With Daniels and Koyack ready to step into top-target roles as seniors, if Robinson takes that next step Golson should have no problem finding success through the air. There's an awful lot of talent here besides Robinson, too -- Fuller showed promise as a deep threat last year, while Smythe's in-line blocking has improved to the point where Kelly coach Brian Kelly could deploy some two tight-end sets.

They said it

"He does exactly what I ask him to do all the time, and he does it right. Now he may screw it up the first time, but you coach him and he does it right the second time. I love that kid." -- Brian Kelly on Corey Robinson

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