Offseason Cheatsheet: Wide Receivers

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The series continues with your Du Lac approved crib-sheet for the upcoming season. For more, check out the quarterbacks, running backs, and tight ends.

POSITION OVERVIEW:

If we’ve learned anything from studying Brian Kelly’s offense, it’s that a ton of wide receivers are going to get playing time. Between four and five wide formations, and a hurry-up system that finished last in the nation in time-of-possession, if the Irish offense is going to thrive, they’ll do it with at least six wide receivers playing regularly. Luckily for Kelly, the Irish have depth to burn. Even after losing Biletnikoff winning wide receiver Golden Tate to the NFL, the Irish have over a half-dozen legitimate options spread wide at anytime. While the Irish would’ve loved to have Tate return, they’ll replace his presence with options young and old.

ROSTER READING:

Short a program? Here’s every wide receiver listed on the roster:

     No.    Name                         Yr.      Ht./Wt.      Hometown/High School
      1       Deion Walker             Jr.      6-3/198     Christchurch, VA (Christchurch)
      3       Michael Floyd            Jr.      6-3/227      St. Paul, MN (Cretin-Derham Hall)
      6       Theo Riddick             So.     5-11/198    Manville, NJ (Immaculta)
      7       TJ Jones                    Fr.      5-11/187   Gainesville, GA (Gainesville)
     11      Shaquelle Evans        So.     6-1/205     Inglewood, CA (Inglewood)
     18      Duval Kamara            Sr.      6-4/225     Jersey City, NJ (Hoboken)
     19      Robby Toma               So.     5-9/175     Laie, HI (Punahou)
     28      Austin Collinsworth     Fr.      6-1/195     Fort Thomas, KY (Highlands)
     38      Christopher Gurries    Sr.      5-10/186   Purcellville, VA (Loudown Valley)
     42      Dan Franco                 Sr.      5-10/188  Granger, IN (South Bend Clay)
     81      John Goodman           Jr.       6-3/207    Fort Wayne, IN (Bishop Dwenger)
     86      Bennett Jackson         Fr.       6-0/172    Hazlet, NJ (Raritan)
     87      Daniel Smith               Fr.       6-4/208    South Bend, IN (Clay)

KELLY ON WIDE RECEIVERS:

On Floyd: “In 20 years, I have not had a player who has worked as hard as Michael Floyd has worked. And I mean that. He has out-worked everybody on the offensive side of the ball to the
point where he has single-handedly set the bar for everybody else needs
to bring their play.”

On Riddick: “I really have high high expectations for him. He’s an elite player. He’s learning a position, but I think we’ll be talking a lot about Theo Riddick as we move through the season.”

On Goodman: We can win with John Goodman. We can win football games. To be a championship player, he has to be more consistent, and he knows that. He’s got to finish off plays, but we can win with Goody.”

On Collinsworth: “Collinsworth is somebody that is not in the two deep yet, but he’s on
every kick team, every special teams that we have.”

On Jones: “I mean, he can play for us right now. I think he showed that on the
first quick hitch he took and ran over a pretty good corner. He’s
physical, he plays fast, he’s smart, he’s a true freshman… He’s a young man that will factor in prominently what we do on offense in the fall.”

Tony Alford on Duval Kamara: “Duval Kamara may not be the fastest guy, but he’s played a lot of good football. He’s a big body, he’s got good hands and good ball skills.”

CRYSTAL BALL:

As much as Irish fans have to be kicking themselves that Golden Tate decided to take his talents to Seattle, the Irish have plenty of depth on the edges of the offense, and wide receiver play will definitely not be an issue for the Irish. Allowing Michael Floyd to lineup on the opposite side of the field from Kyle Rudolph and having a weapon like Theo Riddick in the slot will give the Irish the true ability to split a defense in thirds, making it harder for teams to roll coverage to either of their preseason All-Americans. I fully expect senior Duval Kamara to take control of the starting wideout position across from Floyd, but I also expect guys like John Goodman and Shaquelle Evans to make some noise as well.  Spring stalwart TJ Jones should be the freshman that makes the biggest impact, but speedster Bennett Jackson and all-around athlete Austin Collinsworth might also find their way into the box score.

POSITION STRENGTH:

B. If Tate was still on the roster, I’d mark this an A+, but even without him, there is plenty of potential for greatness at this position group, even if the players behind All-American Michael Floyd are long on potential and short on actual production.