Kevin Stepherson’s time with the Notre Dame Fighting Irish was a mixed bag of on the field greatness and off the field disaster. Before the former 3-Star WR played a single down for the Irish as part of its 2016 recruiting class, he was arrested in the summer as part of the Fulton County Five incident. After the regular season had concluded for the Irish in 2017, Stepherson was arrested for driving without a license and marijuana possession in December. The very next day he was arrested again for shoplifting at a Macy’s in Mishawaka. The Macy’s incident was the final one as part of the Notre Dame football program as he was kicked off the team, but he did manage to get in trouble less than a month later as he was arrested in another Indiana county for drug possession.
Like I said... he was an off the field disaster. On the field though — he was quite incredible.
Stepherson managed to play in 10 games as a freshman in 2016, and after serving a 4 game suspension in 2017 (which was actually 5) he played in the rest of Notre Dame’s 7 games of the regular season. In those 17 games as a freshman and sophomore, he caught 44 passes for 821 yards and 10 touchdowns.
Stepherson transferred to Jacksonville State to finish off his collegiate career, and now he enters the 2021 NFL Draft. Stepherson isn’t expected to go high in the draft, but his incredible athletic talent will be notice — and perhaps he will be given a pass after two years of good behavior.
PFF’s Mike Renner highlighted Stepherson’s play in a series of tweets on Monday:
If I told you there is a WR in the draft class that started in college over two current starting WRs in the NFL and has these testing numbers— Mike Renner (@PFF_Mike) February 22, 2021
is that something you might be interested in?
Well his name is K.J. Stepherson and this is what he looked like as a *true freshman* pic.twitter.com/VGxQXK66Sd— Mike Renner (@PFF_Mike) February 22, 2021
Here’s one more of him cooking Adoree’ Jackson— Mike Renner (@PFF_Mike) February 22, 2021
Stepherson had career derailed with off-field issues but is absurdly talented and by all accounts back on track pic.twitter.com/O9E8zxYR6o
Regardless of what goes down with Kevin during the draft, Notre Dame fans will always have a little bit of, “what could have been” when it comes to Stepherson and the 2018 season with Claypool and Boykin with him as receivers. He is the special sauce of explosive receiving threat that Irish fans are still coveting to this day.
I just hope it all works out for him.