Notre Dame has needed to add a receiver or two to its current recruiting class for months. Since securing the commitment of consensus three-star receiver Amorion Walker (Ponchatoula High School; La.) in March, the Irish have chased a few receivers, but none have joined the class of 2022.
Until consensus four-star Tobias Merriweather’s commitment Wednesday afternoon.
Merriweather (Union High School; Vancouver, Wash.) chose Notre Dame over West Coast powers Oregon, Washington and UCLA, immediately helping fill a vast hole in the Irish class, now at 20 commitments.
The No. 21 receiver and No. 155 overall prospect, per rivals.com, Merriweather has a remarkable ease both tracking the football in the air and catching it, doing so cleanly and without using his body. Then his 6-foot-4 frame provides deceptively rapid acceleration via a long stride, a stride that proves especially effective on kick returns once the All-American Bowl invitee finds a crease.
At only 180 pounds, despite standing 6-foot-4, Merriweather needs to add muscle before he can be counted on at the next level, lest merely decent press coverage throw him off a route, but his commitment still helps to continue to elevate Notre Dame’s receiver recruiting.
Between Merriweather, early-enrolled freshman Lorenzo Styles and incoming freshman Deion Colzie, the Irish have a trio of receivers ranked in the top 25 of their classes in the last two cycles. For comparison, the only receiver remaining on the roster from the previous two cycles, the classes of 2019 and 2020, is sophomore Xavier Watts, who ranked as the No. 90 receiver.
Reach back to the class of 2018 — the current seniors — and it included Kevin Austin as the No. 15 receiver in the class and Braden Lenzy, the No. 12 athlete.
Two-year gaps between perimeter playmakers like that has been regularly cited as the biggest difference between Notre Dame and the top-tier of college football, as put on display in its final two games last year.