Since his days a few shorts years ago as a running back for the USC Trojans, Amir Carlisle has been looking for a home on offense.
Rated as the fourth ranked all-purpose back coming out of high school, and the 93rd ranked player by Rivals – Carlisle received a higher ranking than notable names like Teddy Bridgewater (first round pick), Brandin Cooks (first round pick), Bishop Sankey (first RB taken, second round), Tre Mason and DaVaris Daniels.
Now in his second year with the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, Carlisle may have found his home as the team’s starting slot receiver. After being the team’s starting running back to begin the season, Carlisle struggled to see the field after the emergence of Cam McDaniel and Tarean Folston.
A full-time move to the slot position, as well as DaVaris Daniels not with the team due to the school’s ongoing investigation, Carlisle has found himself one of the go-to players for the emerging Everett Golson.
“I thought he made some outstanding catches in traffic. Held on to the football, toe tapped one on the sidelines, showed a really good skill set at that position.”
Head coach Brian Kelly wasn’t shy about expressing how well Carlisle has adapted and what he brings to the table as the team’s slot receiver.
“The slot receiver position has been an area that has been a bit of a concern for me. We finally got a guy that can matchup inside out. And that position puts him on safeties, linebackers and we can do a lot of really good things there.”
After catching two passes for 54-yards against the Rice Owls, Carlise came up huge against the Michigan Wolverines with seven receptions for 61-yards and two-of-Golson’s three touchdown passes.
After McDaniel put the Irish up 7-0, Carlisle caught a pass on an out route from the 1-yard line to put Notre Dame up two touchdowns. He would cap off his night with a 12-yard screen pass for a touchdown. In two games this season Carlisle now have 9-receptions for 115-yards and 2-touchdowns.
He had 7-catches a year ago, and at this current pace he will blow by the amount of touches he saw last season – even though he was a ‘running back’ then.
A lot of concern was expressed about what Notre Dame would do after losing Daniels, as behind him there wasn’t much experience left over. But is obvious in the first two weeks of the season is that what they don’t lack is talent. Carlisle, along with Will Fuller have emerged as legitimate threats for the Irish going forward, and Kelly again acknowledges it for Carlisle,
“I thought he was big today. I thought this was a statement game for him.”
If how the season has started, this can only be the beginning for Carlisle, finally with a real position to excel at.
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