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, once again, 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 2021 season.
#83 Jayden Thomas, WR
Jayden Thomas comes to Notre Dame from Paulding County, Georgia. As a star receiver at Pace Academy, he was the #25 prospect in that talent-rich state and #305 in the nation. After fielding a range of offers from top-flight programs including the Penn State Nittany Lions and Georgia Bulldogs, Thomas committed to the Irish on October 2, 2020.
Although he flew under the radar relative to his classmates Deion Colzie and Lorenzo Styles, Jr., Thomas brings a dynamic skillset in his own right and has the potential to be an impact player for the Irish down the road. Scouts praised Thomas for his polished route-running, catching adjustments and physical running, the last of which combines with his open-field acceleration to make him a potent in-traffic YAC threat.
The Restaurant That Fits
This Caribbean restaurant chain specializes in jerk chicken, which anyone who has sampled it knows can pack a powerful flavor and spice punch even in small packages. Like a bite of tender and spicy jerk chicken, Thomas is dynamic and ready to explode when he gets the ball in his hands.
Although anything can happen at receiver for the Irish in 2021, it’s unlikely we see Thomas thrust into a significant role this year. With his skillset and decent-but-not-massive size (6’1”, 185 pounds), Thomas likely projects as a flex receiver who can be lined up in the slot or on the “X” role outside - roles that in 2021 will likely be filled by some combination of Avery Davis, Braden Lenzy, and Lawrence Keys. Down the road, however, Thomas has the physical tools to be a very effective chain-mover for the Irish offense, and given the the thinness of Notre Dame’s receiving depth chart beneath the senior class he may start seeing that time right away in 2022.