Coconut Creek (Florida) North Broward Prep wide receiver Kevin Austin remains one of Notre Dame’s top targets.
With a top four of Duke, Miami, Notre Dame, and Tennessee on the table, Irish Illustrated caught up with Austin’s head coach, Rex Nottage for his take on his star receiver and where his recruitment may be headed.
“He’s a special player with special leadership,” Nottage said. “Before his sophomore year, he came to lead and the kids gravitated to him, looking for that leadership role. He does get the kids up for each game. He leads by example with his hard work.”
Austin is set to compete in the Five-Star Challenge in Indianapolis on June 9, then take part in The Opening Finals in Beaverton, Ore., at the beginning of July.
Other than these events, Austin will remain at home in South Florida, shaping his craft and focusing on his college decision.
“With as hard as he works, he needs to rest,” Nottage said. “He’s been going non-stop. I talked to his folks about focusing on things here with the team and not worrying about the schools yet. I think he’s already established himself with the schools he’s extremely interested in.”
Nottage uses Austin’s explosive skills every chance he can get, including in the return game.
Nottage thinks Notre Dame would be wise to do the same.
“He has such a competitive nature, it’s whatever he can do to get the ball,” Nottage said. “That’s what he wants. If they see a fit and they wanted him to return, I think he does magic with the ball. He has great vision and his cutting ability for his size is pretty darned good.”
Recently, Austin mentioned that he was considering going on a college visit tour with his teammates.
Apparently, those plans have changed.
“We talked about that with Kevin, we have other seniors for (the colleges) and because he narrowed it down, our route changes in not having Kevin to go. Kevin likes being around the guys, but they’re smaller schools.”
Another recent addition to Austin’s recruitment was an offer from Clemson.
“I think it was intriguing to him,” Nottage said. “I mean, shoot, they just won the National Championship and they’re showing interest. But he’s staying firm in the schools that he’s interested (in).”
Like Clemson, any attention coming his way from schools outside of his top four has been politely dismissed.
“He’s been staying really firm on these four choices,” Nottage said. “He hasn’t budged from it and he’s been very mature about it. And that’s Kevin. I’m proud of him and what he’s doing and not letting anyone push him, just says, ‘no thank you. I’m moving forward. I’m not interested.’”
Life after football is the headline of Austin’s recruitment.
“I think the key component of choosing his school is the academic piece,” Nottage said. “It’s not just any university that’s great in football, he’s going to go for it. It’s the academic piece, like the Notre Dames, who ranks extremely high in academics, that’s extremely important to them.”
Nottage explained the connection he’s witnessed between Notre Dame and Austin.
“I definitely think the tradition and the academic piece of it and taking the football equation out of it, looking at the school itself, I think the school in itself is what he’s very impressed with. Another thing is the coaches. Autry Denson has come down here and has been scouting him. There’s great guys there.
“Notre Dame is a special place and if Kevin does decide to choose Notre Dame, I think it’s a great fit for both. The thing with Kevin is wherever he’s going to go, people are going to love him.”