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Notre Dame Football

Instant Reaction | Scholarship Situation at WR

June 9, 2021

Typically a receiver that has zero career catches and an unclear status on the depth chart doesn’t spark an instant reaction piece from me, but considering Jay Brunelle’s position, I believe the transfer is worth examining.

Was Brunelle going to help this season? It didn’t look like that was how it was trending after the spring. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt the program going forward. Xavier Watts is now the only receiver left on campus from the 2019 and 2020 recruiting cycles, which is pretty much the opposite of what a program wants when trying to close the talent gap at the skill positions.

This is now the third wide receiver transfer since spring ball. Brunelle joins Jordan Johnson and Kendall Abdur-Rahman with them already set with their next programs. With those three gone, it leaves only nine scholarship receivers this fall.

Notre Dame may be one of the only programs that can survive having that number of receivers because they are capable of putting multiple tight ends on the field. And as the Blue-Gold game showed, they will have options who can do damage there in addition to Michael Mayer.

Still, nine receivers is not an ideal number to practice with. An injury or two makes it almost impossible. It’s not just about having the right amount of receivers to work with in team settings. It’s about reps in one on ones, 7 on 7, and scout team.

Fortunately it looks like they are getting some good reps from walk-on Matt Salerno. That helps ease some of that. They also have at least a couple of talented backs who can help with reps there as well.

It might have made sense for Notre Dame to add someone via the transfer portal. It wasn’t exactly flush with great options, though.

With five of the nine scholarship receivers in their fourth or fifth year in South Bend, adding more than expected at receiver in the 2022 recruiting cycle appears to be more than just a realistic possibility. It feels like a certainty.

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