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Notre Dame Football

Notre Dame WR Jayden Harrison Keeping Head Down and Working to Earn Respect

February 3, 2024

Marcus Freeman and the Fighting Irish signed a solid Transfer Portal class, which includes two receivers who have already played inside Notre Dame Stadium. 

In 2022, Beaux Collins recorded two catches for 18 yards in Notre Dame’s 35-14 win over Clemson, while Jayden Harrison caught three passes for 38 yards as Marshall beat the Irish 26-21. 

Harrison has to be a little more cautious with how he describes that day now that he’s in the blue and gold, but it’s also a moment he likely won’t forget once his playing career is over.

“I got the same chills that I got when I walked in the stadium the first time we played here,” recalled Harrison. “It’s ironic.  It was surreal. We were all so happy - some people even cried. That was a big win. A big win.” 

There is no denying it was a special day for Harrison and the Marshall program, but the fact he’s even talking about it inside Notre Dame’s indoor facility speaks to where Freeman is taking this program.

Notre Dame has used the Transfer Portal to fill in gaps in the roster to prevent a Marshall moment, and Harrison fits into that.

Harrison, an All-American returner in 2023, recorded 28 catches for 410 yards and one touchdown in 2023. It’s not likely the 5-foot-11, 185-pounder is going to turn into Notre Dame’s No. 1 receiver, but Harrison is more than fine with that. 

“On my visit, they were talking about how they need pieces and they felt like I fit a piece that they had for me,” stated Harrison. 

“I felt the enthusiasm of Coach Freeman, Coach Denbrock, Coach (Mike) Brown, and I just felt like I could really have a chance to win the national championship and that’s what I want to compete for.” 

The Antioch (Tenn.) native will have a chance to carve out a specific role immediately as Harrison brings speed to the table. Speed is a trait Notre Dame lacked in 2023, and the Irish seem to have found plug-and-play pieces in the portal and with traditional recruiting to close that gap. 

“My speed is what I pride myself on,” Harrison said. “That’s big for me. 

“Kris (Mitchell) is also fast. That’s the trend and with Coach Denbrock’s offense. They go fast, they had fast players in his offense last year, so that was the pieces they need.” 

Notre Dame will also return a solid core at receiver and Harrison believes the new pieces in the room can complement what’s already on the roster. 

“Everybody has a role and position to play in the team’s success,” Harrison explained. “Speed will definitely play a part and the people like JT (Jayden Thomas), JG (Jaden Greathouse), and Jordan Faison, we all will come together and play big this season.” 

Now, there will be an adjustment for Harrison and the other newbies as they’ll need to learn how to fit into a new culture, locker room and new offense. 

How does one check those boxes? It’s simple. 

“All I know is to keep my head down and work,” explained Harrison. “That’s what I’m going to bring. That’s what guys respect. Guys respect how you work. That’s how you help a team.”

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