The wide receiver group has a lot to prove due to the departure of Michael Floyd.
Floyd's shoes won't be filled easily, and no one expects a single player to do so. If Floyd's production is going to be made up, it will take the whole team.
Those shoes probably won't be filled by Deion Walker. He could never seem to make an impact during his time at Notre Dame, and his return for a fifth year is doubtful (which pains me to say because my older brother played football for the same high school as Walker, and we both had high hopes for the speedy youngster).
According to FortWayne.com, John Goodman informed his high school football coach that he is returning to Notre Dame for a fifth year. Goodman has the upper hand due to experience, but DaVaris Daniels is going to challenge him for the starting job and will share time at the very least.
Daniel Smith will provide Brian Kelly with a steady backup behind Goodman and Daniels.
On the other side of the field will be TJ Jones.
Jones struggled to find his way at times in 2011, but he has started since his freshman year (started seven game in 2010). The job is his to lose in 2012. When Theo Riddick isn't playing running back, he will fill likely in for Jones.
At 6'4", Luke Massa gives Brian Kelly a different look behind both Riddick and Jones. If Kelly wants to attack opposing secondaries with taller wideouts, then it will be Massa who comes in.
Robby Toma has earned a shot to start in the slot receiver role. He has solid hands, good quickness and will be an asset at the position. Matthias Farley, a player who Kelly was impressed with out of high school, is going to fall behind Toma at the slot position.
If things are going poorly on the wide receiver front, fans can expect Kelly to try Chris Brown, Justin Ferguson or KeiVarae Russell at wideout, but they won't play to start the season.
2012 Depth Chart Projections
Wide Receiver-DaVaris Daniels or John Goodman (if he returns) Backup-Daniel Smith
Wide Receiver-TJ Jones or Theo Riddick Backup-Luke Massa
Wide Receiver (Slot)-Robby Toma Backup-Matthias Farley