The Notre Dame Fighting Irish have a roster full of players, and we want to talk about them all. One Foot Down’s player profile series will take a look at every single one of them, and hopefully we all learn a little bit more about these guys, and Notre Dame’s chances for the upcoming 2020 season. This is earlier than normal, but you can thank that damned COVID-19 for that. It’s now just our bomb content earlier in the year. You’re welcome for that blessing.
#4 Kevin Austin, Wide Receiver
Kevin Austin is coming into his junior season at Notre Dame. He was beginning to breakout a little bit in his freshman season. He played in 4 games, and in those games had 5 catches for 90 total yards. There was some explosiveness there. That is what made him an exciting prospect for more playing time in 2019 especially with Miles Boykin leaving for the pros.
However, Austin did not make the travel squad for the 2018 games against Syracuse and USC. It all was very hush-hush with no real answers from the team. At the end of the day, Kevin Austin was not to play at all during the 2019 season. That was definitely too bad, as his skill would’ve been awesome to have alongside Chase Claypool and the rest of the receivers.
It was never fully disclosed why Kevin Austin sat out the whole 2019 season as well as the end of the 2018 season. That led to a lot of speculation but no clear answer for his absence. It must’ve been a serious offense to the team/university because of the longevity of his suspension. He was clearly on Double Secret Probation.
It looked like he was getting back in good graces and able to play for spring ball and the season coming up. With everything shutting down, we only got to see him and the whole team for a week of spring practice. Kevin was out there, getting reps, though. You have to hope we see him more often than just on the scout team like he was last year, serving his suspension.
That’s right, I could see Kevin Austin being Juice 2.0. He is Dexter Williams because Dexter was in a similar boat. Dexter did not have a full season suspension, but he was suspended for the first four games of 2018, his senior season. That again was an undisclosed suspension, but a lot of people could figure out what the suspension was for.
In his first game back, and in his first run back in actual game action, Dexter took the ball and scorched the Stanford defense in a long touchdown run. This prompted me to start yelling THE JUICE IS LOOSE in the stands that night over and over again like someone who was certifiably insane. I didn’t care, though.
I’m hoping the same for Kevin Austin - a comeback that shows he didn’t have to miss a beat. A long, speedy route to beat the whole defense to get a long bomb TD from Ian Book. That would be a dream. I see a lot of that fire that could come out of him like it did with Dexter Williams.
As mentioned above, we’re looking for Kevin Austin to break out in 2020. He still has three years of eligibility left. With Chase Claypool and Chris Finke gone, there is definitely room for Kevin to make his mark on the receiving corps. He has showed some promise for sure, but he has not had much game action. I’m betting that will change this season is he is eligible to play. All signs point to Kevin having the playing time, and his ability to deliver a lot of skill, yards, and points would be clutch in a position that would definitely benefit from a newer face making a strong impact.