Blue and Gold Illustrated

August 2016

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

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 39 of 134

BY LOU SOMOGYI A grand total of 37 career receptions are represented for wide receivers coach Mike Denbrock's group in 2016. Thirty-five of them belong to senior Torii Hunter Jr. Last year's top three wideouts — All-American Will Fuller, Chris Brown and Amir Carlisle — have moved on to the NFL, while senior Corey Robinson, with 65 career catches, ended his football career this spring because of repeated concussions. Beyond Hunter, Notre Dame's wideout corps is greener than a St. Patrick's Parade in Dublin, Ireland. Lining up this spring with the first group with Hunter at the X (field side) were sophomore Equanimeous St. Brown (one career catch) at the W (boundary) and junior Corey Holmes (zero receptions in two seasons) at the Z (slot). Behind them were early enrollee freshman Kevin Stepherson at X, sophomore Miles Boykin (who redshirted last year) at the W and sophomore walk-on Chris Finke at the Z. Sophomore CJ Sanders (one career catch) was sidelined for several months because of a hip flexor, but he is expected to contribute at the Z as well. The 6-0½, 190-pound Holmes became the most intriguing figure prior to the spring because of recording the team's fastest hand-timed 40 — 4.39 — during a winter combine, and he added a breathtaking 41-inch vertical. He maybe was the most enigmatic, too, because those numbers did not catch the staff by surprise. Holmes always has had straight- line speed, but it was mitigated by the lack of what three-time Super Bowl champion head coach Bill Walsh referred to as "functional football speed" — which includes tracking the ball, running precise routes, manipulating cornerbacks, maximizing speed with pads on, etc. "There's track speed and there's in-line, straight-line speed and then there's, quite frankly, football speed," echoed Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly. "That's been the struggle for Corey the first couple years is to get that to translate, and through playing GETTING UP TO SPEED Corey Holmes attempts to translate his quickness to functional use

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of Blue and Gold Illustrated - August 2016