The Notre Dame Fighting Irish have a roster full of players, and we want to talk about them all. One Foot Down’s player profile series will take a look at every single one of them, and hopefully we all learn a little bit more about these guys, and Notre Dame’s chances for the upcoming 2020 season.
#18 Joe Wilkins Jr. WR
Next up is rising Redshirt Sophomore WR, Joe Wilkins Jr. Wilkins played mostly on special teams a year ago, and filled in for Chris Finke to return 2 punts. He is a long athlete who always seems to pop up on practice reports as someone who is making plays. Wilkins has not produced a ton on the field, but seems like a player who is universally respected by his teammates and a grinder of a worker. This would have been a big Spring for Wilkins, who will compete for reps as an outside receiver. At the very least, Wilkins athleticism, and history on defense should allow him to be a staple on special teams this year. I also love this picture below, with Wilkins clearly leading the pack.
Also, if you haven’t read about his story with his mom, I strongly suggest checking it out Here.
I don’t know what it is about Wilkins, but he just seems “cool” in everything he does. And when I think of cool, I always used to think of Lando Calrissian, played by Billy D Williams in the Original Star Wars.
What could be cooler than that?..... Enter Donald Glover AKA Childish Gambino, AKA someone who just drips coolness. He played Lando in the remake (average movie but Lando stole the show).
I also think that Wilkins could have a “save the day” type of moment this year. He will find his way onto the field and make a clutch, in traffic catch. I have no basis for it, but just something my gut is telling me.
Wilkins will be competing with Braden Lenzy, Bennett Skowronek, and others for time at the outside receiver position. He will definitely be a special teams regular, and could be the lead punt returner after seeing some reserve action a year ago. Wilkins is always on the practice report making plays, and hopefully this translates to more on field production this year. I see him having a 10-15 catch year, with some of those coming in garbage time, but coming up big at some point with a clutch catch.