Blue and Gold Illustrated

Nov. 25, 2023

Blue & Gold Illustrated: America's Foremost Authority on Notre Dame Football

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 22 of 55

BLUEGOLDONLINE.COM NOV. 25, 2023 23 FRESHMEN WIDE RECEIVERS SHINE ON SENIOR DAY The south end zone in South Bend was worn out by Notre Dame pass catchers who could find themselves stepping over the nine slashes painted within it quite a few more times over the coming years. Fre s h m e n w i d e re ce ive rs Ja d e n Greathouse and Jordan Faison — the former a highly ranked recruit whose first-year with the Fighting Irish went dormant because of a hamstring injury and the latter a walk-on who didn't be- come an actual option in the offense until Greathouse became hampered — caught touchdown passes in that south end zone, the one closest to where thousands of Notre Dame fans spent hours in the parking lot this fall hous- ing Michelob Ultra, Busch Light, Fire- ball and whatever else serves as brain fuel sparking imaginative thoughts for what the Irish can soon be offensively if recruiting on that side of the ball con- tinues on the way it has been humming of late. The matchup against Wake Forest offered a glimpse into their fanatical fantasies. Greathouse caught a pass for the first time since Sept. 23. His second of three receptions was a 48-yard catch-and- run on a slot post working from his left to right. He looked as fast as he ever has in a Notre Dame uniform, sprint- ing right by a Wake Forest defensive back that had an advantageous angle on the ball carrier's planned path. Didn't matter. Greathouse kept on chugging straight ahead like a runaway train not stopping for anything. Faison, the speedy lacrosse player who earned a football scholarship out of necessity against Louisville Oct. 7, created separation on a simple cor- ner route — just like he did against the Cardinals. Déjà vu meant doubling his touchdown total from one to two. Not bad for a kid who wasn't supposed to see the field this season. Now Notre Dame can't take him off of it. For a while, Greathouse couldn't even get on it because of his hamstring. Ev- erything came together for the duo on the same night. "It's just a testimony to just continu- ing to battle, continuing to prepare, continuing to work," head coach Mar- cus Freeman said, "because you don't know when the opportunities present themselves." Opportunities have been there all year for freshman Rico Flores Jr., mean- while. Another hot commodity in the class of 2023 who came in at the same time as Greathouse, Flores has played in every game this fall. He didn't catch a touchdown pass versus Wake Forest but he did become the first Notre Dame wide receiver to eclipse 100 receiving yards in a game since Kevin Austin Jr. and Lorenzo Styles in the 2021 Fiesta Bowl — 25 games ago. Maybe that's a burying of the lead. But that's just how impressive Notre Dame's freshmen wide receivers were on Senior Day. Everybody ate. "It's exciting for sure," Flores said. "You talk about it every game. I came close versus Pitt, like 70 [yards] or something, but to finally get it on the record, it feels good for sure." The way Flores, Faison and Great- house were featured all night, com- bining for 15 catches, 212 yards and 2 touchdowns, it sure feels safe to pen that trio in for more 100-yard games in the near future. But, for whatever rea- sons, it did take nearly two full seasons to go from one 100-yard receiving game from a wideout to the next. So Flores, minutes after completing his career (so far) game, stayed humble. "We can't give into that yet," Flores said. "Just quite yet. We still got to keep laying these bricks down game by game, WAKE FOREST GAME NOTES BY TYLER HORKA AND JACK SOBLE Freshman wide receivers Rico Flores Jr., Jaden Greathouse (above) and Jordan Faison combined for 15 receptions, 212 receiving yards and 2 touchdowns against the Demon Deacons. PHOTO BY CHAD WEAVER

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Blue and Gold Illustrated - Nov. 25, 2023