Irish Wide Receivers: Just the Facts

A detailed look at Notre Dame's most improved position group…by the numbers

Pegged in the spring by head coach Brian Kelly as the position group most in need of improvement, the 2014 Irish wide receivers answered their coach's challenge -- and did so without the expected addition of top returning target DaVaris Daniels, to boot.

Sophomore Will Fuller emerged to rank among the nation's best, tying a program-record with 15 touchdown receptions while securing 76 passes for 1,094 yards -- the latter the third-highest total of the five-season Kelly era.

Not surprisingly, Fuller likewise led Notre Dame in most of the position's ancillary, tell-tale categories. Below is a look at each.

PASS DISTRIBUTION

The numbers below also include all pass interference and defensive holding penalties drawn, both accepted and declined, as well as the infamous final flag levied at Florida State (Corey Robinson's overturned touchdown).

Will Fuller -- 119
Corey Robinson -- 75
Chris Brown -- 72
C.J. Prosise -- 54 (including 12 against FSU)
Ben Koyack -- 46 (includes 15 in first three contests)
Amir Carlisle -- 41
Tarean Folston -- 17
Intentionally thrown-away -- 17 (includes 6 against Stanford)
Cam McDaniel -- 10
Torii Hunter -- 10
Greg Bryant -- 5
Durham Smythe -- 1
Batted Down at line (Indiscernible target) -- 2

DROPPED PASSES

Admittedly, I can be a harsh grader. When two numbers are listed, it means reasonable debate regarding one of the drops exists.

Fuller -- 11/12 (Includes one likely post-TD at USC)
Prosise -- 5 (Includes 2 TD: Rice, FSU)
Robinson -- 4/5 (2 resulted in interceptions)
Brown -- 3/4
Carlisle -- 2
Koyack -- 2 (Includes one TD, Northwestern)
Folston -- 1

EXPLOSIVE PLAYS

Fuller led the Irish by a wide margin, notching 19 receptions of 20 yards or more. C.J. Prosise ranked second with 10 such gains.

The 40-plus yard club
Fuller (5): 75-yard TD, 72-yard TD, 48, 44, 42
Prosise (4): 78-yard TD, 59, 53-yard TD, 40
Brown (2): 49 yards, 46

The 30-plus yard club
Fuller (4): 35-yard TD, 32 yards, 31, 30
Carlisle (3): 35 yards, 32, 32
Brown (2): 36 yards, 34
Folston (2): 37 yards, 30
Prosise (1): 33 yards

The 20-plus yard club
Fuller (10): 28-yard TD, 27, 26, 24-yard TD, 23, 23 TD, 23 TD, 23, 23 TD, 21
Robinson (8): 25, 23, 23, 23, 22, 22, 22, 21
Prosise (5): 26, 26, 26, 25, 21
Koyack (5): 28, 23, 23, 23-yard TD (game-winner), 21
Carlisle (5): 26, 25, 22, 21, 21
Brown (4): 25, 23, 22, 21
McDaniel (1): 24

PASS INTERFERENCE CALLS DRAWN

(Includes defensive holding)

Fuller -- 8 (three against UNC)
Brown -- 5
Robinson -- 4

-- As a point of comparison, the 2013 Irish receiving corps drew 13 such flags (DaVaris Daniels and TJ Jones led with 5) while the 2012 group elicited just seven, though none by a wide receiver (6 by Tyler Eifert; 1 Troy Niklas).

MONEY BALL

A breakdown of Notre Dame's top receivers on third and fourth-down.

Fuller: 18 total conversions, including 4 TD and one on fourth down
Robinson: 13 total conversions including 2 TD and one on fourth down
Koyack: 12 total conversions including 2 TD, one of which was on fourth down to win the game
Brown: 7 all on third down
Carlisle: 5, all on third down including one TD (UM)
Prosise: 4, all on third down
Folston: 3, all on third down including one TD (UNC)
Bryant: 1
Hunter: 1
Smythe: 1

SUBJECTIVELY OBJECTIVE

-- Unit MVP: Fuller (*exempt from designated categories)
-- *Most Improved since 2013: Prosise
-- *Most Improved since August 2014: Fuller
-- *Best Finish Compared to his Start: Brown
-- *Best Start Compared to his Finish: Carlisle or Robinson
-- Best after the catch: Fuller
-- Most Versatile: Prosise
-- Most Reliable in the Red Zone: Robinson
-- Most Reliable to Execute his Assignment: Koyack, by a wide margin
-- Best Blocker: Koyack by a wide margin. Thereafter, Prosise and then Brown
-- Most Improved Blocker: Koyack by a wide margin; then Brown
-- Underused: The Running Backs
-- Overused: Prosise on decisive drives (targeted for five consecutive goal-to-go passes between FSU and Louisville).
-- Best on the Tunnel Screen: Fuller
-- Best on the Bubble Screen: Probably Fuller. Robinson for one game (Syracuse)
-- Best on the Slant: Fuller
-- Best Downfield: Come on…
-- Best on Third Down: Fuller
-- Best on a Contested Catch: Robinson
-- Catch of the Year: Brown vs. Louisville
-- Best from the Backfield: Prosise
-- Most Room to Grow for 2015: Fuller; Justin Brent thereafter
-- Best Bet to Join the Ranks in 2015: TE Durham Smythe


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