Josh Malone is a 4-star wide receiver from Gallatin, Tenn., and he's one of the better receiver targets that Notre Dame is going after in 2014.
Malone is 6'2.5'', 190 pounds and he runs a 4.43 40 (via 247Sports). He's ranked as the No. 14 wide receiver recruit in the 2014 class according to the 247Sports Composite Rankings, so he's definitely a big-time recruit.
Naturally then, he has an interest in Notre Dame. So much so in fact that he attended the recent Blue-Gold spring game, according to Jake Brown of IrishIllustrated.com
The 4-star wideout commented on Notre Dame's academics and he commented on the campus, according to Brown's report, but he also will take the depth chart into account when making his eventual decision, per Brown:
Kelly and offensive coordinator Chuck Martin, Malone’s primary recruiter, outlined a plan to take three receivers in the Class of 2014. Four-star prospect Justin Brent is already committed.
“The spring game was great,” Malone said. “I saw how they like to go vertical in the offense. I was just trying to see and I was just looking at the sets and everything they were running and how many wide receivers they had on the field. Really it was very useful to get up there for that spring game.”
Malone plans to take a close look at the depth chart with all his options.
Malone explains why the depth chart is such an important factor, according to Brown's report:
“I look at that a lot because I want to be an instant impact,” Malone said. “Really I just want to get in and play because I know the opportunity to go pro is really not sitting down. It’s really on the field.”
That may not be the best of news for Notre Dame, because the Fighting Irish are looking pretty good at the position.
Once the 2014 season rolls around, now senior receiver T.J. Jones will be gone, and DaVaris Daniels will be a redshirt senior. Daniel Smith will also be moved on due to eligibility.
That all bodes well for Malone in regards to the depth chart.
That said, Chris Brown will be a sophomore and C.J. Prosise will be a redshirt sophomore in 2014. Then you have to factor in the 2013 class. Kelly and his staff went out and signed four receivers last cycle: 4-star James Onwaulu, 4-star WIll Fuller, 3-star Corey Robinson and 4-star Torii Hunter Jr.
Finally, consider that coach Martin is planning on signing three receivers in 2014 (per Brown), so that adds two more wideouts to the mix plus Malone, if he were to commit.
Malone would be looking at depth chart that featured upperclassmen in Daniels, Brown and Prosise, and then a slew of underclassmen—four to be exact—plus his two classmates. That's not even counting a tight end like incoming freshman Mike Heuerman, who's talented and versatile enough to be split out much like Tyler Eifert was.
If Malone is making his decision purely based off depth chart, I personally would say that Notre Dame looks pretty set at wide receiver.
If depth chart is as big as a factor as Malone makes it out to be, perhaps Notre Dame isn't his best option. Then again, it'll be hard to turn down those national championship aspirations and that top notch education. Perhaps Malone will see the depth chart, but feel confident in his ability to compete.
Perhaps, he'll see what I see and move on to one of the other schools on his interest list—Virginia Tech, Vanderbilt, Tennessee, South Carolina, Ohio State, Florida State and Auburn, according to 247Sports.
Until then though, he's a recruit worth keeping an eye on if you're a Notre Dame fan.
What do you think about the Fighting Irish's depth chart at wide receiver? Let me know in the comments.