Wide Receivers and Tight EndYet to debut: redshirt-freshman Torii Hunter, Jr., 2014 true freshmen Justin Brent and Corey Holmes, junior (redshirt-sophomore) Will Mahone, a converted running back, plus the redshirt-freshmen tight end pairing of Durham Smythe and Mike Heuerman and incoming tandem of Nic Weishar and Tyler Luatua.
Senior Amir Carlisle was a running back last fall as noted below.
Senior (redshirt-junior) DaVaris Daniels: Has a handful of outstanding efforts to choose from, including the national championship loss to Alabama, but most of Daniels' damage that evening (7 receptions, a then-career high 115 yards) was done after Alabama had already delivered its haymakers.
Daniels starred vs. Temple in last year's season opener (three catches, two back-breaking early TD's, both of 32 yards), and against BYU on Senior Day (6 rec. 107 yards, TD), but his most important effort came vs. Purdue in West Lafayette, a breakout performance that saved the Irish from a humiliating loss to a terrible Boilermakers team.
Daniels erupted in the fourth quarter for two scores -- on back-to-back Irish snaps -- that turned a tie game into a 31-17 Irish advantage. Daniels' second score, an 82-yarder down the right sideline, marks the longest reception of his Irish career. His initial score came on third down from the 9-yard line, a corner route that gave a scuffling Irish offense a major boost to begin the final period.
His final numbers vs. the Boilers (eight receptions for 167 yards and two scores) each set or tied personal bests.
Sophomore Corey Robinson: A true freshman last fall, Robinson's best came against the nation's best -- defense, that it -- as the 6'4" long-armed leaper corralled three passes for 54 yards (both team highs) while likewise drawing a pair of pass interference calls vs. Michigan State and the aggressive Spartans secondary.
Robinson drew both penalties on third down and each of his three receptions likewise moved the chains: 3rd and 3 for 17 yards; 3rd and 3 for 24 yards; and finally, 3rd and 10 for 13 yards.
Notre Dame converted just six of its 18 third-down attempts vs. the Spartans -- Robinson was responsible for five.
Senior Ben Koyack: His most important catch came vs. Arizona State -- a 19-yard catch-and-run for a score that likewise marked his first reception of the 2013 season -- but Koyack's best effort was doubtless in his home state of Pennsylvania against Pittsburgh, a four-reception, 76-yard evening, the highlight of which was a leaping 38-yard catch marked just inches short of the Irish goal line.
Koyack's four Steel City receptions each resulted in first downs including one fourth down catch of 10 yards that helped set up Notre Dame's first score of the contest. His three grabs thereafter resulted in first down gains of 38, 17, and 11 yards in a disappointing road loss.
Junior Chris Brown: Technically, Brown's five-catch, 54-yard day in the 2013 Pinstripe Bowl win over Rutgers marks his personal best, with career highs in both categories. But the fleet-footed junior's most important outing remains a one-catch, two-target evening in Norman, Oklahoma, as the Irish upset heavily-favored Sooners, 31-13 to vault into national title contention.
Targeted for two deep post routes on the evening, Brown caught the latter, a diving 50-yarder between n the pipes that set up a Notre Dame touchdown five snaps later. The catch came at an opportune time, moving the Irish offense from its own 35-yard line to the Oklahoma 15 less than a minute after the Sooners had tied the game at 13 near the midway point of the fourth quarter.
It's relevant to note that each of Brown's aforementioned five receptions in the Pinstripe Bowl victory resulted in first down yardage. It's likewise relevant to reiterate: "Pinstripe Bowl" and "Rutgers". I'm sticking with the Sooners.
Senior (redshirt-junior) Amir Carlisle: Has yet to make his debut on the perimeter but the former USC transfer served as Notre Dame's primary 'back for the first three weeks of 2013, his best contest coming against Michigan in a devastating Big House defeat. Carlisle rushed for a team-best 64 yards on 12 carries while collecting two receptions on six pass targets, the last of which however glanced off his shoulder pads for a game-ending end zone interception in a 41-31 road loss.
Carlisle helped set up Notre Dame's first score of the second half in Ann Arbor, taking a pair of consecutive Pistol formation runs 7 and 13 yards, respectively, and later churning out six yards on a counter play for a first down. The Irish scored later in the drive on a 20-yard roll-out pass from Tommy Rees to Troy Niklas.
Carlisle also rushed for a career-best 68 yards vs. Temple in the season-opener, with 45 of those yards coming on the season's initial snap.
Sophomore Will Fuller: Fuller contributed sporadically as a true freshman last fall with his best outing a two reception, 93-yard, one touchdown effort in a blowout win over Air Force on October 26. His most important catch though came four games prior, a 37-yard flag route down the right sideline to set up Notre Dame's first score of the game in a 17-13 win over Michigan State. The play marked the longest gain of the afternoon by either team.
Junior (redshirt-sophomore) C.J. Prosise: Finished on a high note with two receptions for 25 yards in a starting role vs. Rutgers, a 29-16 Pinstripe Bowl victory by the Irish. Prosise's first catch netted 20 yards on the contest's first play. Prior, four of his previous five receptions on the season each resulted in first down yardage.
Next in the series: The best efforts to date by Notre Dame's current defensive backs.