Which Notre Dame signees can help the earliest?

BY Marcus Hartman • February 3, 2016

Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly's biggest decision this offseason figures to be easy to identify if not answer: Who will be the starting quarterback for the Fighting Irish? 

Beyond that, though, he will need to find some new players for Malik Zaire or DeShone Kizer to throw to with his three top receivers having run out of eligibility or deciding to go pro early. 

The top-rated receiver in Notre Dame's class is Javon McKinley, a four-star prospect from Corona (Calif.) Centennial who committed to Kelly in early January. 

He is Scout.com's No. 9 receiver in the country and listed at 6-foot-2, 200 pounds. 

Also of note: Notre Dame's class of early enrollees included three-star receiver Kevin Stepherson of Jacksonville (Fla.) First Coast, so he could get a head start earning playing time for the fall by going through spring practice. 

Second choice: Daelin Hayes, a linebacker from Ann Arbor (Mich.) Skyline, was also among the early enrollees. He could vie for early playing time with Jaylon Smith having opted to go pro a year early and a couple of other veteran linebackers running out of eligibility.