According to a report on Irish Illustrated, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish are going to be without wide receiver Kevin Austin for the 2019 season.
Another blow to #NotreDame 2019 receiving corps.https://t.co/aW501ckzqW— Irish Illustrated (@timprister) August 26, 2019
Notre Dame was already “quietly” sitting Austin for the first four games of the season as they have done with Kevin Stepherson and Dexter Williams in the past. Both of those past cases unofficially had to do with a failed drug test, although that has never been verified by Brian Kelly or the University for privacy reasons.
Whatever the reason, Austin remains enrolled at Notre Dame for the fall semester.
This recent revelation appears to be something new (at least to us) but perhaps this is something Notre Dame has known for a while now. Austin has been running with the scout team for all of fall camp.
Austin was left at home as a “coaches decision” in Notre Dame’s games against the Syracuse Orang and USC Trojans — but he did play against the Clemson Tigers in the Cotton Bowl (very sparingly).
There is a bad history here already with Austin as he enters his sophomore year in South Bend. He is arguably the most talented WR on the roster, but with all of these disciplinary issues, it really doesn’t matter how talented he is.
Moving forward, the Irish are already running thin with pass-catchers with the injuries to TE Cole Kmet and WR Michael Young. Austin was never expected to play in the month of September anyways, so whatever plan was put in place for this month (and more importantly against the Georgia Bulldogs) will have to be what Notre Dame leans on for the rest of the season.
Lawrence Keys III has already stepped up in Michael Young’s absence, and we should most likely see more from Braden Lenzy, Joe Wilkins, and senior Javon McKinley. None of the four mentioned have ever caught a pass in a Notre Dame uniform.
This has been a rough August for the Notre Dame offense, and Chip Long is going to have to find a way to piece this all together for Ian Book, the offense, and the team.