Notre Dame football: Irish WRs considered among tops in nation

<b> Bob Wieneke</b>

Long before TJ Jones and DaVaris Daniels became teammates at Notre Dame, their fathers had struck up a friendship, strong enough that Philip Daniels is listed in the Notre Dame media guide as Jones' uncle.

"They were like brothers," Jones said earlier this summer about Daniels’ father and his dad, Andre.

That meant the two budding college athletes became fast friends.

"Me and DaVaris have known each other since we were in diapers," Jones said, "before we could walk."

Both are now at Notre Dame, both are wide receivers and both are expected to again fill key roles during the 2013 season in the Irish passing game.

And on Tuesday, both were named to the preseason watch list for the Biletnikoff Award, which goes to the nation's best receiver.

The 5-foot-11, 190-pound Jones, whose late father played on Notre Dame's 1988 national championship team, is the team’s leading returning receiver after catching 50 passes for 649 yards and four touchdowns last season.

The senior was the only Irish player to catch a pass in every game last season.

The 6-2, 190-pound Daniels, whose father played in the NFL for Seattle, Chicago and Washington, last season caught 31 passes for 490 yards. He will be a junior in the fall but retains three years of eligibility after not playing as a freshman.

The two were among 75 players on the list that was released Tuesday morning. USC junior Marqise Lee won the award last season. The only previous Irish to capture the Biletnikoff was Golden Tate, who won it in 2009.

With top target Tyler Eifert now in the NFL, Jones and Daniels likely will see a good number of passes thrown their way. The bond they forged years ago has paid dividends at Notre Dame.

"It's cool. It's real fun," Jones said. "It's like having a brother here -- a little brother -- who you can compete with, you can talk to, joke around, and bring up old pictures that we find when we go home."

Twitter talk

Notre Dame sophomore offensive tackle Ronnie Stanley took to Twitter this week to answer fans' questions.

Among the more intriguing questions, and answers: What shoe size does he wear? 16.

Who is the fastest guy on the team? George Atkinson III.

Who is the funniest guy on the team? Tyler Stockton.

Has he seen the 2013 Shamrock Series uniforms yet? No, but he's heard they're "sick."

With Braxston Cave now in the NFL, who is the strongest offensive lineman on the team? Zack Martin.

Which defensive lineman is the toughest to go against in practice? Stephon Tuitt.

Are ND fans crazy? "Yes! In a good way."

And finally, one fan wanted to know if Stanley could provide his bank account number, preferably in 3-4 years. Stanley responded with laughter, but also provided a quick no.

Notre Dame wide receiver DaVaris Daniels (10) makes a catch during the Blue-Gold spring football game on Saturday, April 20, 2013, at Notre Dame Stadium. Daniels and teammate TJ Jones were named to the Biletnikoff Award watch list.