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2023 WR Taeshaun Lyons Is Not A Luxury, He Is A Necessity For Notre Dame

Notre Dame already has an outstanding wide receiver class in 2023, but that doesn't mean Taeshaun Lyons isn't also a must get

While already boasting a stellar four-man wide receiver group in the 2023 recruiting class, it is difficult to not get excited by the future of the pass catchers in South Bend. A quartet of Jaden Greathouse, Braylon James, Rico Flores and Dylan Edwards rivals the best classes in the country.

The best part, they all bring something different to the table and potentially fit well together.

Still, there is one spot left in the class at wide receiver. Hayward (Calif.) Tennyson pass catcher Taeshaun Lyons is the the player position coach Chansi Stuckey and the rest of the Irish staff want to fill out the class.

There is an assumption from some that Lyons is a “throw in” for the class, more of a pure upside play than legitimate headliner of a class. He is the guy the staff had to turn to after missing on other players. That view greatly misses just how talented Lyons is as a football player.

No, this isn’t a throw in. This isn’t a depth addition, or a Plan B prospect. Lyons brings big time ability to a wide receiver room that must continue to get better for Notre Dame to achieve its ultimate goals over the next few years.

THE CLASS RIGHT NOW

Even without Lyons in the class, the 2023 group is a gap closing one with big time upside. The Irish staff could put together an impressive pass catching rotation out of the four. How they fit together is exciting.

You have Greathouse, who is the big bodied pass catcher with some exciting route running chops. There is some alpha potential to his profile, bringing high volume potential in the passing game. Greathouse could potentially profile to the boundary or either field positions on the next level.

Then there is James, the kind of player that Notre Dame has had some success with in the past. He is the height-weight-speed dynamo who is a big play waiting to happen. As he continues to add mass to his 6-3 frame, James may have the most upside of any offensive player in Notre Dame’s 2023 class. He is the prototype boundary receiver in this system.

Like Greathouse, Flores brings a nuanced understanding of how to play the wide receiver position. He is a steady pass catcher who has a chance to fight for reps early on in his career. Flores brings a really nice blend of explosiveness, route running and dependability to the table. On the next level, Flores projects most favorably to one of the two field positions. He has an advanced understanding of how to manipulate space.

Edwards is the type of dynamic space player that Notre Dame has been missing over the last few seasons. In a modern passing game, more than ever teams are asking their pass game weapons to manufacture and manipulate space to the highest level. That is why the RPO and screen game has been such a vital element of the game today.

The 5-9, 165-pound Edwards has deep experience as a running back on the high school level. That experience, along with his 4.3 speed, brings some exciting potential working out of the slot and as a return man. Edwards is a home run waiting to happen.

MORE EXPLOSIVENESS IS NEEDED

With all those parts in mind, it is even more intriguing to consider the style that Lyons brings to the field. He is a very different football player than either of the four pass catchers already in the 2023 class.

Long and lean at 6-2 and 170 pounds, Lyons is a vertically oriented pass catcher. He has long speed that allows him to create a number of big plays. There is also some sublime flexibility to get in and out of breaks effectively. Quite simply, Lyons is the best football player on his level. There is no questioning who the top weapon is every time he steps foot on the field.

In a lot of ways, Lyons’ game is extremely reminiscent of former Notre Dame wide receiver Kevin Stepherson. His all around profile brings a lot of upside, as well as alignment versatility. There is massive upside to this style of player, on top of fitting well with the quartet already committed.

It is time to stop looking at Lyons as a luxury pass catcher in this class. Closing on a player of his talent is still a massive necessity.

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While football is the top priority for Lyons as a part of the Tennyson program, he also has participated in both track and field and basketball for the school. While his track times are not spectacular, explosiveness is evident in his jumps. He long jumped 22’11.25” as a junior, while also posting a personal best of 43’1” in the triple jump.

Lyons is ranked as a three-star recruit by the other most major recruiting services, but that is likely to change as they finally give his film its due. In fact, his rise has already begun.

On3 now has him pegged as the No. 129 overall player and No. 19 player in the 2023 recruiting class. Lyons is also rated as the No. 7 overall player in the talent rich state of California.

Through four games, Lyons has hauled in 22 receptions for 501 receiving yards and six touchdowns. In total, he has 833 total yards and seven scores. That is an average of 22.7 yards per reception and 208 total yards per game.

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