One of the deepest positions for the Irish heading into 2011 will be at the wide receiver position. And while the Irish like to put the ball in the air on offense, there wasn't a deep rotation at wide out throughout the 2010 season. With the additional of two dynamic receivers in the 2011 recruiting class, that may change next fall.
The Notre Dame staff did thin the herd at wide receiver this spring by moving sophomores, Bennett Jackson and Austin Collinsworth to the defensive side of the ball. The move will give the two talented freshmen George Atkinson and DaVaris Daniels more opportunities for playing time, but in the end it will be tough to pull returning starters Michael Floyd, Theo Riddick and T.J. Jones off the field.
George Atkinson has a lot of talent and he's an extremely versatile player which will allow him to play any of the three wide receiver positions in the Irish offense, and possibly carry the ball out of the backfield. He is an outstanding return specialist, so expect him to get a look on kick-off returns next season.
Atkinson is a long, lean receiver at 6-foot-2, 190-pounds. He has the speed to stretch the defense and the toughness to play the slot and handle the underneath routes. A number of people on the message boards have talked about moving him to safety, but he's such a dynamic athlete that you'd like to keep his talents on the offensive side of the ball.
As a senior, Atkinson carried the ball 172 times for 1,669 yards and 17 touchdowns. He also had 27 receptions for 678 yards and six touchdowns.
DaVaris Daniels athleticism doesn't jump out at you on the field, but he doesn't lack for it. Daniels is deceptively fast and has the quickness to make moves in tight spaces. Like Michael Floyd, he uses his body very well to get separation from the defensive backs. He's a strong physical receiver with very good ball skills.
At Notre Dame, Daniels will play one of the outside wide receiver positions, and mostly likely battle for playing time behind Floyd at the ‘W' receiver position. Daniels is an extremely versatile athlete that will get a look as a punt returner.
Daniels scored 19 total touchdowns during senior season: 10 rushing touchdowns, five receiving touchdowns, two punt returns, one interception return and one blocked field goal return. He had 23 receptions for 513 yards.
Michael Floyd – 79 receptions for 1,025 yards and 12 touchdowns.
Theo Riddick – 40 receptions for 414 yards and three touchdowns.
T.J. Jones – 23 receptions for 306 yards and three touchdowns.
John Goodman – 15 receptions for 146 yards.
Robby Toma – 14 receptions for 187 yards.
Commitments Build Depth: WR
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