Notre Dame is not often thought of as a school that needs to replace a big time wide receiver. While this has been the case following the departures of standouts such as Jeff Samardzija, Golden Tate, Michael Floyd, and (arguably) Tyler Eifert, Brian Kelly may be facing one of his most difficult tasks yet by having to replace recently departed Will Fuller. While Fuller will certainly be missed, and no one specific wideout may be able to replace him, Notre Dame does have plenty of assets capable of stepping up.
One player that may be most ready to break out on the scene is sophomore Equanimeous St. Brown. Last season, St. Brown played minimally, totaling only one catch for eight yards in Notre Dame’s blowout win over UMass, but did contribute on special teams before a shoulder injury ended his season.
While St. Brown might be looked at as someone to help fill the void left by Fuller, they certainly are not the same type of player. Fuller, who measured at 6’ 186lbs at the combine is considerably smaller than St. Brown is. The German born St. Brown is listed at 6’4” and 205lbs, which is closer to a Michael Floyd body type as opposed to Fuller.
Aside from St. Brown, Notre Dame is also returning Torii Hunter, Jr., Corey Homes, Corey Robinson, and CJ Sanders at the receiver position. The star power is a big question among that group. Hunter, Jr. has played well in the past, however not to the extenet that Fuller did, and newly elected Student-Body President Robinson seems to have a great deal of things on his plate and leads one to question where football stands in his mind.
The best option for replacing Fuller could potentially be St. Brown. It just so happens the receiver on Notre Dame’s current roster with the most star potential only has one catch to his name at this point. With that being said, Fuller only had six receptions as a freshman before his breakout sophomore year that included 76 receptions for over 1000 yards and 15 scores.
Notre Dame also is bringing in three wide outs with high ceilings in the recruiting class set to hit the field next fall. Kevin Stepherson is already on campus and turning heads during spring football. Javon McKinley from California and Chase Claypool from British Columbia, Canada, are set to join Stepherson when the summer rolls around.
Stepherson and McKinley are built similar to Fuller, and Claypool is built just like St. Brown.
Adding these three into an already talented receiving corps will help to make up for the loss of Will Fuller. The star power may not be there right away, but the talent to replace the former Irish star will be.