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State of the Irish: Notre Dame Wide Receivers

Dan Scofield@BleedingGoldAnalyst IAugust 15, 2009

SOUTH BEND,IN - SEPTEMBER 13:  Morgan Trent #14 of the Michigan Wolverines reaches for the ball against Michael Floyd #3 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish on September 13, 2008 at Notre Dame Stadium in South Bend, Indiana. (Photo by: Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

State of the Irish will be a nine-piece miniseries, analyzing Notre Dame football from top to bottom while also predicting what's ahead for the team.

Starters

No. 23 Golden Tate, Junior (5'11", 195)

The leading receiver of the 2008 season had been destined for the Irish since birth with a name like Golden.

After finding his way onto the field as a freshman, he showed flashes of brilliance and athleticism, but looked more like an athlete rather than a wide receiver.

Tate made major strides between his freshman and sophomore year, racking up 1,080 yards receiving while hauling in 10 touchdowns.

Looking forward to the 2009 season, Tate has been named to the Biletnikoff Award Watch List as one of the top receivers returning in the nation. He will look to even further increase his statistics this year with another year under his belt and safety-decoy Michael Floyd starting opposite him.

If the production keeps up, Tate could find himself sitting atop the Notre Dame all-time receiving record books.

No. 3 Michael Floyd, Sophomore (6'3", 220)

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Charlie Weis showed the critics that he could finish the deal on elite skill-position recruits when he pulled in Michael Floyd out of Minnesota.

Coming in as a freshman last year, Floyd lived up to his high expectations...and then some.

On his first catch of his career, Floyd caught a touchdown pass from Jimmy Clausen. And he didn’t stop there.

Floyd finished the year with 719 receiving yards and seven touchdowns while missing almost three full games. Although pretty decent numbers, Floyd was much more valuable than his stats indicate.

This year, expect Floyd to make a run at the 1,000-yard mark with double digit numbers in touchdowns.

Were looking at a future 1st-rounder in young Mr. Floyd, and the Irish faithful will be lucky to have him around if he stays for his senior year.

No. 18 Duval Kumara, Junior (6'5", 219)

During the 2007 season, Kumara served as the primary target for Irish signal-callers as a true freshman.

However, his success unfortunately did not translate to 2008 which led to a sophomore slump.

The front-runner for the No. 3 receiver slot, Kumara hasn't gotten off to a great start so far.

Recent reports indicate that he will miss at least a few weeks after an MRI revealed damage to knee cartilage. Kumara will be ready for the season-opener against Nevada.

If he is full-go this season, Kumara should be able to hold onto the No. 3 spot. However, he cannot afford another slump because behind him lies a new-found depth at the wideout position.

Backups/Contributors

No. 82 Robby Parris, Senior (6'3", 205)

Physically, Parris can be labeled as the twin of Chicago Cub pitcher, Jeff Samardzija; The prototypical lanky, white wide receiver from Notre Dame.

Skill-wise, Irish fans hope that Parris can catch up to Samardzija in that department.

He has always been somewhat of an unknown commodity to the fans, as he has been on and off the field. When he has been on the field, he hasn't stood out enough to be recognized.

Parris comes into his senior year with a chip on his shoulder. If he can use that motivation and step up his game for his final season on campus, he could be looking at a more important role this year.

No. 85 John Goodman, Sophomore (6'3", 203)

Physically, Goodman can be labeled as the twin of Robby Parris. The prototypical lanky, white wide receiver from Notre Dame.

Skill-wise, Irish fans hope the Goodman can pass Parris and one day be Samardzija Jr.

While getting a look at quarterbacks in the spring, Goodman possesses a rocket arm, great hands, and lots of athleticism. Hes too athletic not to see the field this year.

He is the wild card in the No. 3 wide receiver slot, as he has not seen the field yet at Notre Dame. If he can show he has what it takes to contribute and be consistent at the college level, Goodman could get his chance this year.

No. 1 Deion Walker, Sophomore (6'2", 193)

Another one of Notre Dame's unknown, yet skilled underclassmen.

Could he be the heir to David Grimes at the slot receiver position? Some think so.

Walker showed what he had in the Blue-Gold Game by hauling in a few catches. If he can translate that into the season, there is no reason why he shouldn't get a few passes thrown his way.

The only negative on Walker's game that is visible is his strength. He came into school thin and looked like he needed at least a year in the weight room to adjust to the college game.

If Walker has put in the time and reps, he could find his name being called on Saturdays.

No. 11 Shaquelle Evans, Freshman (6'1", 203)

Shaq is another highly-touted receiver coming out of high school like his fellow teammates Walker and Floyd.

The name of his game is quickness and toughness.

Just by watching his highlight tapes, you get a sense that Evans has the attitude it takes to win and compete. These are the type of players Notre Dame wants to consistently haul in.

Look for Evans to make his name known to the Irish fans, whether that be returning kicks (a definite possibility), or as a slot receiver.

Next State of the Irish: Defensive Line

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Quarterbacks

Backfield

Offensive Line

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