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Thursday, January 24, 2013
Notre Dame 2012 Top 25 countdown: No. 23

By Matt Fortuna

Our series continues with a senior who always seemed to be in the right place at the right time ...

No. 23: Robby Toma, WR

Making the case: The sure-handed slot man had 24 catches this season for 252 yards and four carries for 28 yards and a touchdown. For his career, Toma finished with 60 grabs for 667 yards and one receiving touchdown. Toma played in all 13 games this season and started six, finishing his career with 12 career starts. He did most of his damage in 2012 in a pair of five-plus-catch, 50-plus-yard games against Michigan State and Pitt. Like most receivers, his numbers did not jump off the page, as the Irish spent much of the season breaking in a new quarterback. But numbers hardly tell the tale of the 5-foot-9, 185-pounder who would fearlessly go over the middle one play or throw his body into a block the next. Players like Toma embody the "next-man-in" philosophy coach Brian Kelly preaches. And, despite the promise of Davonte' Neal, the consistency that Toma brings will not be easy to replace on a week-to-week basis.

Preseason ranking: 22
The countdown

No. 24 Kyle Brindza, K

No. 25 Chris Brown, WR