Notre Dame 99-to-0: No. 16 Deion Colzie, incoming freshman receiver with both speed and leaping height
Listed measurements: 6-foot-2, 200 pounds.2021-22 year, eligibility: The one class on Notre Dame’s roster with clear eligibility parameters, Colzie has four seasons of eligibility remaining.Depth Chart: The Irish have plenty of veteran receivers, but unproven ones. Leaning on literal time in the program, Colzie should be no higher than third among Notre Dame’s boundary receivers, trailing seniors Kevin Austin and Joe Wilkins, but given the former’s inability to stay on the field, Colzie may find himself with a chance at playing time despite his elders.Recruiting: A consensus four-star and the No. 19 receiver in the class, per rivals.com, Colzie committed to the Irish in October of 2019 before de-committing within the first weeks of the pandemic to consider the litany of options in front of him, including Alabama, Oregon and his hometown Georgia. While reopening recruitments due to a lack of visits made sense during the pandemic cycle, Colzie did so before he ever would have been able to visit campus in regular times, at a point in the pandemic when players and coaches alike naively thought recruiting would return to normal sooner than later.
His de-commitment, instead, was more worrisome for Notre Dame, but Colzie never found another school to strongly consider, reestablishing his commitment to the Irish in September with Tennessee his runner-up.
NAME, IMAGE, LIKENESS
A significant portion of Colzie’s Twitter activity is either him praising his mother or retweeting her praises of him. Not to be too cynical, but at some point, some college athlete will find a way to turn a profit off Mother’s Day, right?
WHAT WAS SAID WHEN COLZIE SIGNED“With a bit more weight on his frame, Colzie could become the successor to Kevin Austin as Notre Dame’s big-bodied boundary receiver, following in the footsteps of Javon McKinley, Chase Claypool and Miles Boykin. For reference, McKinley is listed at only 215 pounds, though he is two inches shorter than Colzie. Claypool carried another 10-15 pounds at a height more similar to Colzie’s.
“The idea of Colzie working the sideline goes beyond his height. A state medalist high jumper, he also has the body control to excel in the role.”
Colzie runs a 10.82-second 100-meter dash. He leaps 6-foot-8 in the high jump. Colzie already enjoys a physical skill set that sets him apart from nearly all other receivers in the country, a skill set that will make him an ideal boundary receiver with body control when out-jumping opposing cornerbacks for deep routes and back-shoulder comebacks alike.
But Notre Dame’s offense is notoriously difficult for freshman receivers to grasp enough to earn playing time. Wilkins, for example, has long been considered capable in all regards, but he had to wait two seasons to get a chance on offense.
“Definitely a difficult offense,” Wilkins said after he broke through for a week last year. “We have a lot of plays, a lot of different formations, the same play out of different formations, it’s a lot to it. Coming at it as a freshman, you’re thrown this huge playbook and you have to know it. It’s rough, it’s definitely rough learning the plays.”
If Colzie can prove to be the exception to that rule, he may already be physically ready to back up Austin, if not replace him should the senior once again fail to remain available be it by injury or otherwise.
If not, the Irish are likely to play Colzie in only four games so as to preserve a year of eligibility for a player who may be enough of a future star as to render that long-term caution moot.
DOWN THE ROADAustin may return in 2022 to further prove his own viability, but Colzie’s physical profile is so impressive it is hard to imagine him not contributing past this season
Two such receivers on the perimeter would be a nightmare for opponents, the kind of nightmare Notre Dame has not been able to create since the days of Michael Floyd and Golden Tate.
NOTRE DAME 99-TO-0
Let’s try this again
No. 99 Rylie Mills, sophomore defensive tackle
No. 98 Alexander Ehrensberger, sophomore defensive end
No. 97 Gabriel Rubio, early-enrolled freshman defensive tackle the size of a Volkswagen
No. 95 Myron Tagovailoa-Amosa, fifth-year defensive tackle-turned-end
No. 92 Aidan Keanaaina, sophomore defensive tackle
No. 88 Mitchell Evans, early-enrolled freshman tight end, a former high school quarterback
No. 87 Michael Mayer, star sophomore tight end and lead offensive weapon
No. 85 George Takacs, senior tight end, ‘152 years old’
No. 84 Kevin Bauman, sophomore tight end
No. 82 Xavier Watts, sophomore receiver
No. 81 Jay Brunelle, speedy sophomore receiver
No. 80 Cane Berrong, early-enrolled freshman tight end
No. 79 Tosh Baker, sophomore offensive tackle
No. 78 Pat Coogan, incoming freshman center
No. 77 Quinn Carroll, junior offensive lineman
No. 76 Joe Alt, incoming and towering freshman offensive lineman
No. 75 Josh Lugg, fifth-year right tackle, finally a starter
No. 73 Andrew Kristofic, junior offensive tackle, possible backup center
No. 72 Caleb Johnson, early-enrolled offensive tackle, former Auburn commit
No. 70 Hunter Spears, junior offensive guard, former defensive tackle
No. 68 Michael Carmody, sophomore offensive tackle
No. 62 Marshall guard Cain Madden transfers to Notre Dame, likely 2021 starter
No. 57 Jayson Ademilola, senior defensive tackle
No. 56 John Dirksen, senior reserve offensive lineman
No. 56 Howard Cross, junior defensive tackle
No. 55 Jarrett Patterson, the best Irish offensive lineman
No. 54 Jacob Lacey, junior defensive tackle
No. 54 Blake Fisher, early-enrolled freshman left tackle, starter?
No. 52 Zeke Correll, junior, starting center
No. 52 Bo Bauer, senior linebacker, #BeADog
No. 50 Rocco Spindler, early-enrolled freshman offensive guard
No. 48 Will Schweitzer, early-enrolled freshman defensive end
No. 44 Devin Aupiu, early-enrolled freshman defensive end
No. 44 Alex Peitsch and No. 65 Michael Vinson, Irish long snappers, both needed
No. 41 Kurt Hinish, fifth-year defensive tackle, eventual record-holder in games played
No. 40 Drew White, fifth-year linebacker, three-year starter
No. 39 Jonathan Doerer, fifth-year kicker, using the pandemic exception
No. 38 Jason Onye, incoming and raw freshman defensive end
No. 37 Joshua Bryan, incoming freshman kicker
No. 35 Marist Liufau, junior Hawaiian linebacker
No. 34 Osita Ekwonu, junior defensive end
No. 33 Shayne Simon, senior linebacker
No. 29 Matt Salerno, senior punt returner, walk-on
No. 28 TaRiq Bracy, senior cornerback, possible nickel back
No. 27 JD Bertrand, junior linebacker
No. 26 Clarence Lewis, sophomore cornerback, second-year starter
No. 25 Philip Riley, early-enrolled freshman cornerback
No. 25 Chris Tyree, speedy sophomore running back
No. 24 Jack Kiser, junior linebacker, onetime pandemic hero
No. 23 Litchfield Ajavon, junior safety
No. 23 Kyren Williams, junior running back
No. 22 Logan Diggs, incoming freshman running back
No. 22 Chance Tucker, freshman cornerback
No. 21 Lorenzo Styles, early-enrolled freshman receiver
No. 21 Caleb Offord, sophomore cornerback
No. 20 C’Bo Flemister, senior running back, coming off an offseason with a smirch
No. 20 Justin Walters, early-enrolled freshman safety and likely early special teams contributor
No. 19 Jay Bramblett, junior punter
No. 19 Justin Ademilola, senior defensive end
No. 18 Joe Wilkins Jr., senior receiver, team favorite
No. 18 Nana Osafo-Mensah, junior defensive end, coming back from a knee injury
No. 17 Jack Coan, graduate quarterback, Wisconsin transfer
No. 17 Jordan Botelho, sophomore defensive end, full-speed at all times