Carlisle transferred from USC and is now a big target for Notre Dame QB Everett Golson.
Notre Dame Fighting Irish quarterback Everett Golson (5) throws a pass against the Michigan Wolverines at Notre Dame Stadium. (Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports)
(C+P) — Last Saturday night against the Michigan Wolverines senior wide receiver Amir Carlisle had the best game of his career.
Carlisle is not your typical wide receiver, though he has taken a much different route than most players to get where he is today. He started out his career as a running back at the University of Southern California and later transferred to Notre Dame.
Carlisle had a slow season as a running back last year for the Irish, rushing for only 204 yards and no touchdowns. This season Carlisle has switched to wide receiver and has played mainly out of the slot. On Saturday he had the best game of his career, catching seven balls for 61 yards and his first and second career touchdowns as a member of the Irish.
Coach Brian Kelly was happy that Carlisle was able to step up and take the role of the slot receiver.
“I was impressed with him tonight. The slot receiver position has been an area that has been a bit of a concern for me,” Kelly said. “We finally got a guy that can matchup inside out. And that inside out position puts him on safeties, linebackers, and we can do a lot of really good things there.”
Carlisle has shown a lot of toughness and hard work this offseason to help him transition from running back to wide receiver. He has put in hours working on his hands and route running.
“I feel good about things,” Carlisle said. “Last year was a learning experience, and I put that in the past, but it definitely has made me who I am today. I just give God all of the glory, and for me, I am just trying to get better on a daily basis. Next week is a new week, so I have to put this in the past and work on getting better as a team and getting better individually.”
Kelly has noticed the improvements in Carlisle’s game and rewarded him as a starting wide receiver. He was especially satisfied with his performance Saturday night against Michigan.
“I thought he made some outstanding catches in traffic. Held on to the football, toe tapped one on the sideline, showed a really good skill set at that position in particular. So, I thought he was big today. I thought this was a statement game for him,” Kelly said.
Carlisle has downplayed his performance, crediting everything to his teammates. He has built quite the connection as well with quarterback Everett Golson this past year, which has been a big reason for his success this season. They seemed to be in sync all game.
“We have been together, we have been a family and we have been working together. We have been together for an entire year. We are unified and I think that shows on the field.” Carlisle said.
Notre Dame fans can hope the success continues from the senior receiver. He has worked hard and taken the long route to get to where he is today. His performance was a big factor in a 31-0 win Saturday night over Michigan. Look for Carlisle to continue to fill that slot role for the Irish this season.