Notre Dame lost four wide receivers and a tight end to the transfer portal last week. This week, the Irish are on the offensive in an attempt to restock their offensive skill positions with some impact transfer targets all visiting this week
QB Riley Leonard, Duke
Marcus Freeman made it very clear that Notre Dame would be dipping into the portal again this year, likely marking three times in four years the Irish starter doesn’t come from within. For a week now, Notre Dame has been considered the odds-on favorite to land Duke transfer Riley Leonard. He will be on campus for an official visit Wednesday and Thursday.
247Sports’ Tom Loy has tossed in a Crystal Ball prediction for Leonard to land at Notre Dame, and all indicators are that the Irish will come out on top here. The visit this week will be huge for the Irish locking this up, and hopefully, there will be other official visits for him.
WR Beaux Collins, Clemson
While Leonard is on campus, he will be joined by Clemson transfer wide receiver Beaux Collins who caught 38 passes for 510 yards and 3 touchdowns this year – all of which would be team highs for Notre Dame. At 6’3″, 210 lbs, Collins has the kinda of height that Notre Dame has been missing at the boundary receiver position on a roster that was seemingly overloaded with slot receivers – albeit very talented ones. 189 of Collins’ 510 yards came after the catch and had a 56.3 contested catch win rate (9 of 16).
Jordan Faison (79.6) and Jayden Thomas (70.6) are the only returning receivers with 70+ PFF grades. Rico Flores (67.7), Braylon James (65.6), and Tobias Merriweather (60.4) were all graded under 70.0. Flores was the only receiver in 2023 for Notre Dame to have more than 2 contested catches with 4.
Collins was a 4-star recruit and #86 overall prospect in the country in the class of 2021 when Notre Dame heavily recruited him. The ’21 class, however, was the final recruiting failure under former wide receivers coach Del Alexander when the Irish signed just a single receiver.
WR Josh Kelly, Washington State
Another big-time receiver target is currently on campus with a Tuesday visit to Notre Dame – Washington State’s Josh Kelly. The grad transfer hauled in 61 passes for 923 yards with 8 touchdowns this season and has 2,288 and 12 TDs on his career. Kelly isn’t as imposing as Collins at 6’1″, 192 lbs, but he has speed on the outside – something else the Notre Dame offense has been lacking at the receiver position.
Kelly doesn’t have the recruiting pedigree of Collins as a former 3-star recruiter, but he brings with him production that Notre Dame hasn’t seen for the last few years. PFF graded Kelly out at 71.3 on the season and credited him with 378 yards after the catch. His contested catch win rate was 46.2 (6 of 13).
WR Kris Mitchell, FIU
One receiver who has already visited the Irish is Florida International’s Kris Mitchell who was on campus over the weekend along with defensive back Jordan Clark who has already committed to Notre Dame. Could Mitchell be close to following? There are already three Crystal Ball predictions for Notre Dame on 247. Should he select Notre Dame, the Irish would be getting a super productive receiver who caught 64 passes for 1,118 yards and 7 touchdowns this season.
Like Kelly, Mitchell isn’t a boundary type but more of an outside threat capable of making crazy catches. Mitchell graded out at 78.2 on PFF on the season and was credited with 453 yards after the catch and a contested catch win rate of 48% (12 of 25). He was split out wide on 93 of his passing snaps.