football Edit

WR Beaux Collins is ready to make most of his time with Notre Dame football

SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Beaux Collins’ interest in Notre Dame football goes so far back that when he camped at Notre Dame as a recruit, the Irish Athletics Center was still in the early stages of being constructed.

Collins showed plenty of potential during the Elite Skills Camp in June of 2018 in the Loftus Sports Center, the indoor facility previously shared by Notre Dame's football program. He’s still hoping to fulfill his full potential in one season at Notre Dame after spending the past three at Clemson.

The graduate transfer wide receiver sat with local reporters Thursday in the Irish Athletics Center with the early stages of construction on Shields Family Hall taking place across the street. A lot has changed since Collins visited Notre Dame as a standout recruit from Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco, but his interest in Notre Dame hasn’t.

“Notre Dame was definitely in my top choices,” Collins recalled of his first college recruitment. “I never really put out like a set list, but in my mind Notre Dame was definitely one of those spots.”



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When Collins decided to transfer out of Clemson, he made only one college visit: Notre Dame. Collins called the decision a “no-brainer.”

“No. 1, the exposure and the network that they have here,” Collins said of the reasoning behind picking Notre Dame. “It’s second-to-none. One of the greatest universities of all time. Also [wide receivers] coach [Mike] Brown being the new coach. He got there the exact same week I took my visit. It was kind of like perfect timing.”

Collins played against Notre Dame twice in his career. When Clemson played at Notre Dame in 2022, the Irish handed out a 35-14 defeat to the Tigers.

“When we came up here my sophomore year, we got spanked,” Collins said. “I just loved the atmosphere. It was my first game up here too.”

Collins suffered a shoulder injury on a hit from cornerback Cam Hart in that loss to Notre Dame that forced him to miss four of the final five games of his sophomore season. He finished the year with 22 catches for 373 yards and five touchdowns.

When Notre Dame made the trip to Clemson last season, the Tigers got their revenge with a 31-23 victory. Collins was Clemson’s leading receiver with only three catches for 37 yards. What does Collins remember most about playing against Notre Dame?

“Their physical presence,” he said. “When Notre Dame walks onto the field, you know you’re in for a dogfight. You have to strap it up for sure. Just the legacy that’s here. It’s second-to-none, if you ask me.”

Collins concluded his career at Clemson with a torn plantar fascia in his foot in the 11th game of the season. He caught 38 passes for 510 yards and three touchdowns in the first 10 games. Collins never completed a full season healthy, which he’s aiming to do this season.

“This year I’m definitely locking in on my physical health, mental health, all of the above,” Collins said. “Eating right, getting great sleep. I kind of did a little research — nothing too serious. I know guys in the NFL, they get like 12 hours a sleep a night. I’m not there yet. I’m close, like 8, maybe 8 1/2 if I get to sleep in on a Saturday or something like that.

"I just try to focus more on things like that: taking amino acids, things that will help my body repair itself after beating it up in fall camp or a game.”


The 6-foot-3, 210-pound Collins made his decision to transfer to Notre Dame in December, but he still wasn’t finished with his undergraduate work at Clemson. So he worked out a plan to live in South Bend while finishing his final three courses at Clemson online. That allowed Collins to be around his future teammates, watch practice and learn the playbook, but he wasn’t permitted to participate in team activities.

“The biggest thing that I feel like I missed was just being physically out there,” Collins said. “I was able to watch a few practices and get into the playbook and things like that, but there’s nothing like actually taking the reps, being out there and having cohesion with the guys. That was the biggest thing. The classes weren’t too bad. I was still able to chill, eat, sleep, recover. It wasn’t a like a hard load.”

Collins could afford to pay rent in South Bend thanks to some extra spending money made via NIL opportunities. That gave him an opportunity to arrange workouts with Notre Dame’s quarterbacks to start working on some chemistry. Then in May, quarterback Riley Leonard, a transfer from Duke, arranged a retreat for some Notre Dame quarterbacks and wide receivers to hang out and work out in Leonard’s hometown of Fairhope, Ala.

The Notre Dame contingent — Leonard, freshman quarterback CJ Carr and wide receivers Kris Mitchell, Jayden Thomas, Jaden Greathouse, Jayden Harrison, Deion Colzie and Collins — stayed together at an Airbnb rental house. The trip included fishing and a workout at the home of former NFL quarterback Philip Rivers, who also lives in Fairhope.

“That was an amazing trip,” Collins said. “I’ve been fishing before, but not out in the water in the bay and all that. We went fishing. We were at Philip Rivers’ house. He had a lot of knowledge that he shared with us about how he dissected film, how to be a better teammate. He gave us wisdom every day.

"It was a great trip. We all meshed together. We stayed at this one place all together like same room and everything. It was like a guys’ trip.”


Leonard impressed Collins, who will be competing for Notre Dame’s starting boundary receiver role, by organizing the whole trip.

“The only stories I’ve heard like that are guys who are already in the NFL,” Collins said. “The fact that he’s doing this, he’s serious about his business. He wants us to grow closer off the field, so that when we do come together this year, there’s no kinks in the link.”

Though Collins is hoping to take his game to another level at Notre Dame, he’s still carrying with him lessons from his time at Clemson. He’ll hear the voice of head coach Dabo Swinney in his head. Collins has notebooks full of lines and knowledge from meetings with Swinney.

“He loved to say, ‘Don’t give up what you want most for what you want in the moment.’ Just small stuff like that,” Collins said. “Things that you can live by daily.”

Now that Collins completed his graduation at Clemson and formally enrolled at Notre Dame earlier this month, he’s ready to take on the new challenges presented to him. Though he’s only been in town for several months, it still feels like a long time coming.

“It’s amazing,” Collins said. "The guys have welcomed me in and been nothing but great friends already. They’re putting me to work for sure. I love it here. The weather’s a little bipolar every now and then, but it’s not too bad. I love it.”

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