Previewing the 2023 Notre Dame Wide Receivers Room

With the addition of Sam Hartman at quarterback, the Irish wide receivers will be challenged to elevate their level of play in 2023.

Notre Dame added a tremendous wide receiver class and transfer Kaleb Smith to an already gifted group of receivers in South Bend. Even though the Irish lost Michael Mayer, their top target the past two seasons, there are still high hopes for the 2023 passing attack. The Fighting Irish have added quarterback Sam Hartman and wide receivers coach Chansi Stuckey continues to bring in and develop talented wideouts.

*All rankings per 247 Sports

Kaleb Smith

  • Recruiting: #83 Overall Player in 2023 Transfer Rankings
  • 2022 Stats: 37 Receptions for 674 yards (18 yards per catch) with 3 receiving touchdowns.

New Offensive Coordinator Gerad Parker desperately needed experience at the receiver position to go along with Hartman and he got it with Virginia Tech transfer Kaleb Smith.

Lorenzo Styles Jr.

  • Recruiting: #20 WR & #115 Player Overall in 2021 Class
  • 2022 Stats: 30 receptions for 340 yards (11 yards per catch) with 1 receiving touchdown. 3 carries for 49 yards (16 yards per carry)

The speedy junior returns to Notre Dame for his third season and hopefully best year for the Irish. Styles Jr. has explosive speed that can help stretch the field.

Jayden Thomas

  • Recruiting: #51 WR & #326 Player Overall in 2021 Class
  • 2022 Stats: 25 receptions for 361 yards (14 yards per catch) with 3 receiving touchdowns.

Thomas had a quality game in the Gator Bowl with 5 receptions for 66 yards. He looks to have a breakout season for the Fighting Irish this fall.

Deion Colzie

  • Recruiting: #16 WR & #102 Player Overall in 2021 Class
  • 2022 Stats: 9 receptions for 192 yards (21 yards per catch) with 1 receiving touchdown.

The almost 6’ 5” Irish wideout has outstanding size that will be a major weapon for the Notre Dame Offense in 2023.

Tobias Merriweather

  • Recruiting: #18 Wide Receiver & #121 Player overall in 2022 Class
  • 2022 Stats: 1 reception for 41 yards with 1 touchdown

Merriweather only had 1 reception this season, but it was for a big touchdown against Stanford. He has a lot of potential and is one of the most talented wide receivers on the roster. Brandon Joseph said at the NFL Combine, he expects Merriweather to be Notre Dame’s WR1 in 2023.

Matt Salerno

  • Recruiting: N/A, Walk On
  • 2022 Stats: 5 receptions for 62 yards (12 yards per catch) with 1 receiving score.

Matt Salerno will return for his 6th season and brings leadership along with experience for this group. He may get passed up this season, but do not underestimate his skillset.

Braylon James

  • Recruiting: #20 WR & #125 Player Overall for 2023 Class
  • High School: Stony Point in Round Rock, Texas

Chansi Stucky was able to take his experience as the Baylor WR coach and pick up Braylon James and Jaden Greathouse this offseason. Both are outstanding wide receivers and have a remarkable upside.

Jaden Greathouse

  • Recruiting: #21 WR & #128 Player Overall in 2023 Class
  • High School: Westlake in Austin, Texas

Another highly ranked recruit out of Texas, Greathouse had offers from Miami, Michigan, Oklahoma, Texas, and USC, to name a few.

Rico Flores

  • Recruiting: #29 WR & #220 Player Overall in 2023 Class
  • High School: Folsom in Folsom, California

The talented California wideout committed to Notre Dame over Alabama, Georgia, LSU, and Ohio State, among others.

2023 Depth Chart

The depth chart for this season is wide open. Sam Hartman will undoubtedly be working out with all the receivers to establish chemistry before the matchup with Navy in Ireland. Deion Colzie, Jayden Smith, Kaleb Smith, Lorenzo Styles Jr., and Tobias Merriweather are the frontrunners for the three starting spots this season.

Unfortunately, poor development and recruiting by former wide receivers coach Del Alexander put the group behind the past several seasons, but it is time for the Irish passing attack to catch up with the other top schools throughout the country. The rushing attack is great, but Notre Dame needs elite wideouts to step up alongside Sam Hartman.

Final Thoughts

Michael Mayer is off to the NFL and Notre Dame has multiple talented receivers who can contribute this season. Fans are hopeful with transfers, returning production, and talented incoming freshmen that the Notre Dame Offense can finally become elite this fall.

During the past playoff appearances, the Irish have been outmatched at the quarterback and skill positions. With the addition of Sam Hartman and capable wide receivers, the Fighting Irish are not only looking to make the College Football Playoffs but win a National Championship.

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  1. I agree with Keith on this. I also stopped looking at stats to decide who is or is not elite. Especially playing for a new OC, new line coach, and for the new QB, a new head coach. As usual, let the bold step up and be “elite” – let everyone else whine and moan and throw up their hands about the “newness” of it all, crying that ND will never win another National Championship.

    BGC 77 82

  2. A lot of talent but no one who really jumps off the page as an elite talent. I’m hoping a couple of the younger guys take big leaps—but I’ve never been good at predicting who can or will do that.

    Have to be optimistic that there’s enough talent there that we can get a few reliable targets for our new QB

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