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Notre Dame Wide Receivers: Midterm Review

Written by Liam Gaudet|Senior Editor|Twitter/X: @LiamGaudetIT

Photo via ON3


Prior to the beginning of the season, one of the biggest question marks was the receiving core and just how much production we could expect to see. Coming off of a 2022 season that featured very few standout performances from that group (mostly thanks to subpar quarterbacking and Michael Mayer), many fans were interested to see how a receiving core featuring many fresh faces and new weapons for veteran quarterback Sam Hartman would fair. Six games in, I feel we have an adequate enough sample size to grade out the receivers who have taken snaps for the Irish this year. Obviously, I'll be taking injuries and playing time into account when evaluating these talented pass catchers. So with that said, let's evaluate!


Jaden Greathouse: A

Photo by The Athletic


A lot of Irish fans probably didn't have this on their bingo card headed into the season, and that's okay. If you saw my immediate impact candidates article before the season started, you would know that I was extremely high on Jaden Greathouse - and for good reason. Coming out of high school, Greathouse cemented his name in the Texas 6-A division record books at Austin Westlake, winning multiple state titles and is top 10 all time in receiving yardage in Texas high school football history in that division. So far this season, Greathouse has exceeded all expectations. He earned early playing time and never looked back. Greathouse exploded onto the scene in the first game of the season catching two touchdowns, and has been a significant contributor ever since. Through 5 games played, Greathouse has amassed 12 receptions for 166 yards and three touchdowns. Not too shabby for a rotational freshman receiver. Look for Greathouse to continue to build off of a stellar first half of a season before taking on a more significant role either next season or down the stretch.


Chris Tyree: B+

Photo via 247 Sports


I'll admit that I smiled when I saw that Tyree would be making the change to slot receiver this offseason, as I felt that he was never utilized properly as a tailback. Since his arrival at Notre Dame, The Jet has had a profound reputation as a speedster. He has provided a lot of relief out of the backfield on shorter routes, but we still haven't seen his speed produce any game-breaking results - aside from a long touchdown against a vastly inferior opponent. I'll give Tyree the benefit of the doubt here, as it's difficult to change positions, but I'm hoping the staff can find a way to utilize his speed more effectively. The last thing anyone wants is more wasted speed on the roster. With that said, Tyree has seen some success as a receiver, and currently leads the Irish receivers in yardage at 269 and two touchdowns to boot. Is it too much to ask for more from Tyree? I'd love to see him turn a short route into a long touchdown with the speed and elusiveness that we all know is there. Look to see if his speed is utilized more often as we turn the corner.


Jayden Thomas: B

Photo by John Lochner (AP)


Jayden Thomas is easily the leader of this group, and he has earned every bit of that reputation. A big frame with a great catch radius, Thomas has proved over the last two seasons to be the most reliable target on the Irish offense at the position. I think the part that impresses me so much about Thomas is how sure-handed he is. You never really have to worry about him not catching an easy target - in fact you're often surprised he's able to secure some of the tougher balls thrown his way. I will, however, gripe a bit on his ability to create separation. One of the biggest issues plaguing the room is the receiver's lack of ability to get open. We saw it last week against Duke (although Thomas did not play). If Thomas can sharpen his skills as a route runner, I'd go as far as to compare him to Miles Boykin. His presence was sorrily missed last week, as Hartman and parker had to revert to spamming Mitchell Evans, but his return should provide much more stability. As far as his production is concerned, Thomas has caught 13 passes for 195 yards and one touchdown this season. Expect these numbers to vastly increase in the following weeks, though.


Rico Flores Junior: B

Photo via Notre Dame Athletics


Rico Flores is another young receiver who has me incredibly excited for what the future holds. So far this season, he's seen rotational time at the receiver position, and for the most part, has been as advertised. In camp, Flores was all the buzz and we caught glimpses of what his potential could look like. Outside of a bad drop last week, he's played well consistently. He's an extremely smooth athlete, who is light on his feet and quick off of the ball. This season, he's caught 11 passes for 141 yards and a touchdown - one that gave Notre Dame the late lead over the Buckeyes (I'm not even going to talk about that anymore). He's proven to be a reliable target thus far, and will continue to hone his craft under Chansi Stuckey to be more than just a contributor in the not so distant future.


Tobias Merriweather: C

Photo via Sports Illustrated


I feel like a lot of Notre Dame fans expected Tobias to be THAT guy this season, and just based off of his raw potential alone, I can see why. Tobias has a lengthy frame and glides across the turf - he is built to be a wide receiver. But outside of the long touchdown against Central Michigan, he hasn't really flashed much this season. A key drop last week along with a costly penalty had a lot of fans scratching their heads. Is it a development issue? Who knows, but for now, all we can do is hope that he find his stride. I haven't given up on this insane athlete, and neither should you. So far this season, he has amassed 7 catches for 147 yards and a lone touchdown.


Deon Colzie and Matt Salerno: Injured

It really isn't fair for me to grade out these guys with the rest considering injuries have dampened their seasons. We have been waiting a while to see Colzie take that next step, and he was off to a hot start against Navy before injuring his knee. Matt Salerno will continue to recover from a broken leg, which likely sidelined him for the season. Colzie may be back soon, and I hope the impact he makes is more than noticeable.



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