Kevin Austin has been a priority for the Notre Dame staff for months.
That’s what a junior season like Austin’s will do for a recruitment. The 6-foot-3 ½, 190-pound junior racked up 1,021 receiving yards, 454 rushing yards and added 224 return yards with 21 total touchdowns last fall for North Broward Prep in Pompano Beach, Fla.
On Feb. 26, Austin was named MVP of the wide receiver group at The Opening Regional in Miami, further proving his worth. Considering the hotbed of talent at his position in the Miami region, that accolade impressed many.
Now Austin will head to South Bend for this weekend’s Blue-Gold Game alongside his parents.
“I’ll be taking a tour of the campus, seeing what they have to offer, the academic piece of everything and get to know the coaching staff better, the wide receiver coach better, because he just arrived at the program,” Austin said. “I want to see what he brings to the table.”
The South Florida star has been frequently hearing from a few Irish coaches and will get to finally meet them face-to-face.
“Coach (Autry) Denson, he’s a really great guy,” Austin said. “He sends me things in the morning to keep me motivated, keep me right through the day. Just some motivational quotes. He seems like a really nice guy. Actually, I know him through my old coach. My little league coach, coached him in little league also. So, that’s who we’ve known throughout this process together. Also, coach (Del) Alexander, he just arrived. He tells me that he wants to create a relationship and just get to know me more in the spring when he comes down.”
Ohio State, Auburn, Michigan, Miami, USC, Florida and Florida State are some of the 34 schools that fill out Austin’s offer list. He maintains that he’s still in the early stages of working out his recruitment.
“Things are about the same,” Austin said. “I’m going to start getting ready for spring and the spring recruiting session. A lot of schools are coming down to see me, they told me, throughout the spring. I already know Miami is coming to see me during my spring game.”
This weekend’s visit to the Midwest won’t be a first for Austin, whose father grew up in Michigan, nor will the Notre Dame game experience.
“I usually go to Michigan when I go to the Midwest,” Austin said. “I just go hang out with my family. I’ve actually been to Notre Dame before for a game three years ago when they played USC.”
Like many of Notre Dame’s top targets, Austin has been hearing from several Notre Dame commits, who he will also meet while on campus.
“One of the wide receivers (Braden Lenzy) contacted me,” Austin said. “It’s going to be fun to see him at Notre Dame. He actually committed to Notre Dame. And then the running back (Markese Stepp) and the quarterback (Phil Jurkovec) also. They seem like a good group of great guys. They seem like they love playing and they want to play for Notre Dame and have love for Notre Dame, so that’s good to see.”
Austin continues to go about his recruitment in thorough and methodical fashion.
“It’s still the same, basically,” he said. “I’m not sure yet. I’m still deciding which colleges to consider harder than others. It’s just a process that I’m taking with my family and my coaches.”
Austin doesn’t plan on making any sudden decisions in the near future.
“I won’t be able to commit (this weekend).”