Notre Dame already has some talented wide receivers on its squad, but Notre Dame will be looking for a couple wide receivers to set up and earn some playing time. The four receivers Notre Dame just signed will get every opportunity to get in the mix early.
Austin Collinsworth (6-foot-1, 195-pounds) Highlands High school, Fort Thomas, Ky.:
Brian Kelly's Comments: "Played with a broken thumb most of the year. He has great hips, great acceleration, loves to play the game. He's a young man that physically will be able to compete right away. He just has a great love for the game. Pretty good pedigree as well. He's a young man that we think can help us in a number of areas. Running back, wide receiver, punt return, kick return, he does a little bit of everything."
Austin Collinsworth Profile: As a senior, Collinsworth rushed for 1,503 yards and 23 touchdowns on 172 carries, while playing as running back, wide receiver and defensive back. In the 5a state title game, he rushed for 176 yards (25 carries) and three touchdowns as Highlands defeated John Hardin 35-7 for final 15-0 mark and third straight Kentucky 5A state title. In a game against Covington Catholic Austin ran for 229 yards and two touchdowns on 26 carries He won the Paul Hornung Award for 2009 from the Louisville Touchdown Club as top high school player in Kentucky. He earned first-team Kentucky all-state honors in athlete category in 2009 from Louisville Courier-Journal and he was a first-team pick as running back on Cincinnati Enquirer Northern Kentucky Football All-Stars for 2009. The Lexington Herald-Leader named him one of 22 players on its Class of the Commonwealth squad for 2009. Collinsworth was nominated for the Brian Williams "That's My Boy" Award given by local chapter of National Football Foundation to top scholar-athlete in Northern Kentucky. As a junior he caught 46 passes for 840 yards and five touchdowns, while earning first-team all-state honors as receiver. Highlands lost only one game combined over his final three seasons (2007-09) and ranked third on final USA Today listing of top high school teams for 2009. One of four players from Kentucky on Orlando Sentinel All-Southern team. He was selected for the U.S. Army All-American Bowl, but did not play due to injury.
Bennett Jackson (6-foot-0, 170-pounds) Raritan High School, Hazlet, N.J.:
Brian Kelly's Comments: "He's a young man we feel can play a number of position at wide receiver. He has the ability to catch and run. How does a player play after he catches the ball after five yards, those were the things that were attractive about Bennett Jackson…. Not only to catch the football, but catch it traffic and find his way and sift his way through traffic and make plays. The thing that kept bringing us back to Bennett was his ability to get yards after the catch."
Bennett Jackson Profile: " Jackson was named second-best wide receiver in New Jersey by SuperPrep. He recorded 40 receptions for 729 yards and rushed 20 times for 350 yards as senior. He scored 13 touchdowns and converted 53 PATs for 131 points as senior, ranking 26th in New Jersey scoring. He also played defensive back and intercepted four passes. Jackson led Raritan to 8-3 record and was named second-team all-state, first-team all-area and first-team all-Group 2 following his senior season by Newark Star-Ledger. Jackson was selected first-team all-area by Asbury Park Press and named preseason first-team all-state by MaxPreps. As a junior, Jackson caught 35 passes for 509 yards with four touchdowns and rushed 35 times for 267 yards and four touchdowns. He added two passing touchdowns, two punt returns for touchdowns and one kickoff return for a score during junior campaign, while averaging 38 yards per kickoff return and 18 yards per punt return.
Tai-ler Jones (6-foot-0, 183-pounds) Gainesville High School, Gainesville, Ga.:
Brian Kelly's Comments: "Incredible numbers as a senior… extremely skilled. With the ball in his hands, he's as explosive as any player in the country. He has really developed in a short period of time. He's already put on about ten pounds. You can see how he can accelerate, he looks like he's going to get caught and then he has a next gear.
Tai-ler Jones Profile: Jones was one of five players to enroll at Notre Dame in January 2010, joining Chris Badger, Spencer Boyd, Tommy Rees and Lo Wood. He was selected to play in Under Armour All-America Game, where he caught three passes for 29 yards. He was selected as SuperPrep All-American and ranked the 13th-best wide receiver nationally and named MaxPreps.com second-team All-American as senior. In his senior year he finished with 76 receptions for 1,399 yards and 18 touchdowns. He also scored touchdowns via rushing, passing and fumble return as a senior. He helped Gainesville to Georgia state championship game in 2009 for first time since 1982. Jones is listed as 35th best player nationally on Sporting News Top 100 and ranked the 40th-best player nationally by SI.com/TAKKLE. He is ranked by Scout.com as 138th-best prospect in 2009. Tai-ler is a member of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution Georgia Top 50 team. He was named first-team all-state by Georgia Sports Writers Association following 2009 senior season, rated 84th nationally on The Kickoff Top 120. rated sixth-best player in Georgia by SuperPrep. Jones was selected to Mobile Press-Register Super Southeast 120 team. As a junior, he caught 81 passes for 979 yards and was then a first-team all-state pick by Associated Press and Georgia Sports Writers Association following junior campaign in 2008. He averaged 19.6 yards on kickoff returns and 17.5 yards on punt returns as junior. His father Andre Jones was defensive end at Notre Dame from 1987-91 and played on the 1988 Notre Dame national championship team. His godfather is former Notre Dame flanker Raghib ³Rocket² Ismail.
Daniel Smith ( 6-foot-4, 215-pounds) Clay High School, South Bend, Ind.:
Brian Kelly's Comments: "Outstanding young man, extremely athletic. He can go up and get the football, he adjusts to the football well. I love his size. There are a lot of opportunities for Daniel. He uses his size to his advantage when going up and getting the football."
Daniel Smith Profile: First-team pick as receiver on 2009 Associated Press Indiana Class 4A all-state squad. He was named to Indiana Football Coaches Association Top 50 All-State team for 2009 as one of four receivers . Smith was a four-year starter as wide receiver for Clay High School in South Bend, Ind. . . . caught 60 passes as senior in 2009 for more than 1,000 yards and nine touchdowns . . . grabbed nine catches for 175 vs. Mishawaka in 2009, including TD receptions of 30 and 57 yards. He caught 10 passes for 124 yards and a touchdown vs. Elkhart Central in 2009. As a junior, Smith caught 51 passes for 1,061 yards and nine touchdowns. He also had seven interceptions as starter at defensive back for Clay team that finished 5-5 and Indiana Class 4-A sectional runner-up. He was named first-team all-conference receiver as junior. He caught caught 30 passes for 400 yards and eight touchdowns as sophomore and as a freshman he grabbed 49 passes for 800 yards and eight touchdowns as a freshman. He caught a 61-yard touchdown pass on the first play of his career as freshman. His brother-in-law is former Irish safety Gerome Sapp (1999-2002).
Introducing the WRs in the 2010 Class
IrishIllustrated.com Top Stories
NFL Prospects Limited, Unless . . .Commensurate with the performance of Notre Dame’s defense, none of the draft eligible Irish prospects on that side of the football project as a first- or second-day draft candidate…
Insider Report: Davis rising; Hicks versatileThe Insider Report details how Avery Davis got his stride back and why new commit Elijah Hicks might be underrated, even as a Scout 300 prospect. We also address how Notre Dame’s…
Audio: Fighting Irish Preview"2-5 at the bye" inspires Fighting Irish Preview to poetry! And can the Irish become bowl eligible? Tim Prister has a prediction.
Status Reports: Irish Offensive LineThe third installment in our series of mid-season evaluations examines Notre Dame’s roster with a look at each individual’s status entering the bye week. Is he ascending? Has he…