A look at Notre Dame football wide receivers

notre dame football

Notre Dame football is known to produce excellent wide receivers over the past decade. Brian Kelly has sent six receivers to the NFL Draft, and some big names include Miles Boykin, Will Fuller and recent draft pick Chase Claypool. Although the past is impressive, Notre Dame must continue to carry on its tradition of creating exceptional receivers.

There are some veterans returning this year. Javon McKinley, Bennett Skowronek and Avery Davis have all had opportunities to show their talents on the field. Although Skowronek is a transfer and Davis is a converted quarterback, both will have to show their ability to adapt and add value to the Irish.

Javon McKinley

McKinley is in his fifth year. That being said, I expect him to be the leader of this group. He has the most experience and also understands the team dynamic. The only problem with McKinley that halts him from taking this leadership position is his inability to maintain proper standing on the team. He has had some behavioral issues with the university, as well as having injuries that have kept him off the field.

Last season was the first season Irish fans were able to see some of McKinley’s talent. He made 11 catches for 268 yards and exemplified his power and strength against competition. That sneak peek could be promising for this season, but time will tell if McKinley can stay healthy and out of trouble.

Bennett Skowronek

Skowronek is also a fifth year, transferring from Northwestern last year. He has some assets that could be promising for the Irish’s offense. His size is a benefit, and he also has great ability when running the ball. Being versatile will give offensive coordinator Tommy Rees something to work with.

The wildcards

The biggest change the Irish will deal with is the amount of young talent at hand. There are many young individuals that could live up to the legacy if they are well trained. Braden Lenzy, Lawrence Keys III and Kevin Austin are all incoming juniors who could be powerful weapons for the Irish.

Lenzy has speed and agility but has been unable to make a mark on the field. If he can improve his play making, he could be a great asset for the offense. Keys is predicted to take over Chris Finke’s role from last year. Those are big shoes to fill. Keys has quickness and knowledge of the field that allows him to think and act quick. This could also be a great addition to offense.

Austin has the athleticism that many players desire. He has the ability to win one-on-one matchups, which is something the Irish roster is lacking. Austin has not provided much to the Irish in the past, so hopefully this season he can stand up to the opportunity and prove his worth.

Freshman Jordan Johnson and Xavier Watts had high ranks on the national high school’s receivers list. If upperclassmen fail to rise to the occasion, I have no doubt these young players will be put up to the challenge.

Photo by Kendra Osinski | The Observer