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Sunday, April 14, 2024
The Observer

Merriweather becomes second Irish receiver to enter transfer portal

The ball bounces at sophomore wide receiver Tobias Merriweather's feet after he came up just short of the end zone.

No position group on Notre Dame's roster has seen more change in this young offseason than wide receiver. Marcus Freeman announced the team had parted ways with receivers coach Chansi Stuckey on Tuesday. The day before, senior Chris Tyree was one of three players to head into the transfer portal. And on Wednesday, another wideout joined him — sophomore Tobias Merriweather.

Merriweather was the lone wide receiver in Notre Dame's 2022 recruiting class, although the Irish were hoping his quality could make up for their lack of quantity. A four-star recruit from West Camas, Washington, Merriweather was a three-sport athlete in high school with great speed (one of those sports was track and field) and big-play potential.

Merriweather made one of those types of plays as a freshman. He hauled in a go-ahead 41-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter of the Stanford game, the first catch of his collegiate career. Ultimately, though, it would be the last of his freshman season. Merriweather suffered a concussion against Clemson a few weeks later that ended his regular season.

As a sophomore, Merriweather again flashed his sky-high potential. He caught four passes of at least 35 yards, giving the Irish passing game a much-needed explosive element when he was on his A-game. However, Merriweather wasn't able to contribute as much as expected in between those big strikes. He finished the year with just 14 receptions for 284 yards and two touchdowns. Freshman Jordan Faison, a walk-on who originally came to Notre Dame to play lacrosse, essentially matched Merriweather's production despite being a non-factor until the Louisville game.

With the departures of Merriweather and Tyree, the Irish are slated to have one of the country's youngest receiver rooms. Five Irish receivers caught at least 10 passes last year. Junior Jayden Thomas is the only returner who is not currently a freshman.

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