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Notre Dame Football: Is Kevin Austin in danger of having an “unofficial suspension” to start the season?

Three years in a row, a dynamic offensive player from Florida has question marks around him.

Kevin Austin
Instagram @ka_szn

The generic coachspeak that Brian Kelly uses when discussing the Notre Dame Fighting Irish can sometimes be just as frustrating as a loss. There is a method involved in how he releases information, but that doesn’t mean there is much certainty on our side.

Brian Kelly spoke with the media at his annual golf outing to benefit the Kelly Cares Foundation, and the Dick Corbett Head Football Coach was asked specifically about one of the bigger question marks of the offseason, wide receiver Kevin Austin.

“He had a good semester, he’s made some progress. I can see him turning the corner. Again, we’re not going to get ahead of ourselves with Kevin. He’s made some progress but we’re not ready to say that he’s there yet.”

“If he continues to do the things that we want him to do, I think we can at least have a conversation. We’re not at that point yet.”

It’s not hard to see the similarities in the way Kelly speaks about Austin as with the way he talked about both Kevin Stepherson in 2017 and Dexter Williams in 2018 (oddly enough, all three are dynamic playmakers from the state of Florida). But just because it’s similar in nature — that doesn’t mean that Austin might be suspended for the first four games.

As far as I can tell, very little has been mentioned by some of the ND insiders about Austin. In this regard, it’s much different than it was with Stepherson and Williams. There is, however, a bit of a pattern here and that does mean there is a chance in my opinion.

Summer just got started, and we probably won’t know much more about this situation until fall camp rolls around in a couple of months. Notre Dame really wants to be more explosive on offense in 2019, and Kevin Austin is one of those players that can definitely help them get there. Can he get over whatever hump there is to allow Kelly and Chip Long to insert him in the lineup right away (especially against the Georgia Bulldogs)?

Judging just by the words that Kelly is using right now, I think the answer to that question is still very, very cloudy.