With Notre Dame's spring season kicking off one week from today, we'll take a look at three players whose offseasons could go a long way toward the Irish's success in 2012. Here, we examine the oldest of the trio.
Spotlight: John Goodman
2011 summary: Goodman played in all 13 games, starting one. The senior finished seventh on the team in both catches and receiving yards, with seven for 65. He saw plenty of action on special teams as the Irish's main punt returner, though he netted just 5 yards on eight returns and lost a fumble on one late during a Week 3 win over Michigan State. His only pass attempt fell incomplete.
The skinny: Michael Floyd is gone after a record-setting career, and Goodman is expected to return for a fifth season. There is a huge void among the receivers with Floyd out of the picture, and though it is unreasonable to expect anyone to have the same kind of success that Floyd had, Goodman is someone who could take advantage of the extra year and provide a steadying hand for a young unit. He is sure-handed, the most experienced traditional receiver returning and a strong locker room presence. The staff welcoming Goodman back shows the faith it has in the player who entered Notre Dame four years ago as a U.S. Army All-American. We've recently seen what that faith can mean, as Jonas Gray turned it on and had a breakout senior campaign in 2011.